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James Whitcomb Riley

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

Dear Hands


The touches of her hands are like the fall
Of velvet snowflakes; like the touch of down
The peach just brushes 'gainst the garden wall;
The flossy fondlings of the thistle-wisp
Caught in the crinkle of a leaf of brown
The blighting frost hath turned from green to crisp.

Soft as the falling of the dusk at night,
The touches of her hands, and the delight--
The touches of her hands!
The touches of her hands are like the dew
That falls so softly down no one e'er knew
The touch thereof save lovers like to one
Astray in lights where ranged Endymion.

O rarely soft, the touches of her hands,
As drowsy zephyrs in enchanted lands;
Or pulse of dying fay; or fairy sighs,
Or--in between the midnight and the dawn,
When long unrest and tears and fears are gone--
Sleep, smoothing down the lids of weary eyes.

Submitted: Friday, April 09, 2010

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