James Whitcomb Riley (7 October 1849 - 22 July 1916 / Greenfield, Indiana)
A Poet's Wooing
I woo'd a woman once,
But she was sharper than an eastern wind.
"What may I do to make you glad,
To make you glad and free,
Till your light smiles glance
And your bright eyes dance
Like sunbeams on the sea?
Read some rhyme that is blithe and gay
Of a bright May morn and a marriage day?"
And she sighed in a listless way she had,--
"Do not read--it will make me sad!"
"What shall I do to make you glad--
To make you glad and gay,
Till your eyes gleam bright
As the stars at night
When as light as the light of day
Sing some song as I twang the strings
Of my sweet guitar through its wanderings?"
And she sighed in the weary way she had,--
"Do not sing--it will make me sad!"
"What can I do to make you glad--
As glad as glad can be,
Till your clear eyes seem
Like the rays that gleam
And glint through a dew-decked tree?--
Will it please you, dear, that I now begin
A grand old air on my violin?"
And she spoke again in the following way,--
"Yes, oh yes, it would please me, sir;
I would be so glad you'd play
Some grand old march--in character,--
And then as you march away
I will no longer thus be sad,
But oh, so glad--so glad--so glad!"
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