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Long sterile years had come and gone;
Youth, like a distant dream, was sped;
Heart, hope, and eyes had hungered on. . . .
He turned a shaking head,

And clumsily groped amid the gold,
Sleek with night dews, of that tangling hair,
Till pricked his finger keen and cold
The barb imbedded there.

Teeth clenched, he drew his knife—'Snip, snip,'—
Groaned, and sate shivering back; and she,
Treading the water with birdlike dip,
Shook her sweet shoulders free:

Drew backward, smiling, infatuate fair,
His life's disasters in her eyes,
All longing and folly, grief, despair,
Daydreams and mysteries.

She stooped her brow; laid low her cheek,
And, steering on that silk-tressed craft,
Out from the listening, leaf-hung creek,
Tossed up her chin, and laughed—