James Whitcomb Riley

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

For You


For you, I could forget the gay
Delirium of merriment,
And let my laughter die away
In endless silence of content.
I could forget, for your dear sake,
The utter emptiness and ache
Of every loss I ever knew.--
What could I not forget for you?

I could forget the just deserts
Of mine own sins, and so erase
The tear that burns, the smile that hurts,
And all that mars or masks my face.
For your fair sake I could forget
The bonds of life that chafe and fret,
Nor care if death were false or true.--
What could I not forget for you?

What could I not forget? Ah me!
One thing, I know, would still abide
Forever in my memory,
Though all of love were lost beside--
I yet would feel how first the wine
Of your sweet lips made fools of mine
Until they sung, all drunken through--
'What could I not forget for you?'

Submitted: Friday, April 09, 2010

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