All Quiet along the Potomac and other poems/On Guard


OPEN your eyes, my darling;
Gather the snowy lid
Off from the sleeping glory
Under the lashes hid.

How can I tell, my darling,
What you would choose to say,
If the bright brown eyes were open,
The white lid drawn away?
Never was doorway barred
So close as the blue-veined gate;
Wake! I am here, my darling;
I would, but I cannot, wait.

Softly the shining glory
Lifts in the waking eyes,
And a flash like summer lightning
Tells of a glad surprise.

Then, with a lover's craving,
I ask of the eyes again
If their tale is true for ever,
And find, with a jealous pain,

That behind their brightest glitter
Lies that I cannot see,
And thoughts may crouch behind them
That speak no word to me.

O human soul so near me,
Still with thy visor barred,
When shall I know thee truly,
Without thy starry guard?—

Never to read thee better,
Never to read aright,

Till blots and blanks and errors
The world beyond makes right?

So shut your eyes, my darling;
My heart is beating true,
But what your soul is thinking
I'll guess the white lids through;

And so escape the knowing
There lies a subtle mist
Across the eyes wide open
My loving lips have kissed.