The sweetest flower of latter spring,
That only breathes the breath of May;
The prettiest finch on painted wing,
By dropping acorn scared away,—
My Love is fair and shy as they.
A bashful violet of a maid,
She trembles at a gust of care;
But then she’s fairest when afraid,
Her blue eyes look up in a prayer,—
My little Love is good as fair.
Once I came back: she sat alone,
Past midnight, in a dusky room;
On face and hair the firelight shone—
Ah, happy me! when through the gloom
I heard her sigh, and knew for whom.
Smiling that night, and crown’d with flowers,
All eyes but mine my Love had seen;
I knew the music of those hours
Was witching, but my little Queen
Had sigh’d for me, her smiles between.
I care not if her face be cut
To shape of artists’ fantasies;
The light of it is nameless, but
Fills all my dreams, and when I rise
I follow it to my Love’s blue eyes.