OUR FRIEND THE ENEMY
TO HIS LOVE, SUGGESTING A MORE DISCRIMINATING TIMIDITY
How sweet and womanly to me you seemed
When first we met in that old silent house,
And suddenly you clung to me and screamed,
Your tender heart affrighted by a mouse.
But when to-day, afar, I saw you pass,
Walking with one I never fancied much,
And when you found a serpent in the grass,
And caught his hand with that same frantic clutch,
And did not shrink from his protecting arm,
Which instantly about your shoulder stole,
I, in my heart, exclaimed: "This is not charm!
This is the merest lack of self-control!"
O, Mabel, learn to mitigate your fear—
At least when any other man is near!
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