James Whitcomb Riley

(7 October 1849 - 22 July 1916 / Greenfield, Indiana)

A Variation


I am tired of this!
Nothing else but loving!
Nothing else but kiss and kiss,
Coo, and turtle-doving!
Can't you change the order some?
Hate me just a little--come!

Lay aside your 'dears,'
'Darlings,' 'kings,' and 'princes!'--
Call me knave, and dry your tears--
Nothing in me winces,--
Call me something low and base--
Something that will suit the case!

Wish I had your eyes
And their drooping lashes!
I would dry their teary lies
Up with lightning-flashes--
Make your sobbing lips unsheathe
All the glitter of your teeth!

Can't you lift one word--
With some pang of laughter--
Louder than the drowsy bird
Crooning 'neath the rafter?
Just one bitter word, to shriek
Madly at me as I speak!

How I hate the fair
Beauty of your forehead!
How I hate your fragrant hair!
How I hate the torrid
Touches of your splendid lips,
And the kiss that drips and drips!

Ah, you pale at last!
And your face is lifted
Like a white sail to the blast,
And your hands are shifted
Into fists: and, towering thus,
You are simply glorious!

Now before me looms
Something more than human;
Something more than beauty blooms
In the wrath of Woman--
Something to bow down before
Reverently and adore.

Submitted: Friday, April 09, 2010

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