Alfred Lord Tennyson

(6 August 1809 – 6 October 1892 / Lincoln / England)

Lilian


I
Airy, Fairy Lilian,
Flitting, fairy Lilian,
When I ask her if she love me,
Claps her tiny hands above me,
Laughing all she can;
She 'll not tell me if she love me,
Cruel little Lilian.


II
When my passion seeks
Pleasance in love-sighs,
She, looking thro' and thro' me
Thoroughly to undo me,
Smiling, never speaks:
So innocent-arch, so cunning-simple,
From beneath her gathered wimple
Glancing with black-bearded eyes,
Till the lightning laughters dimple
The baby-roses in her cheeks;
Then away she flies.


III
Prythee weep, May Lilian!
Gaiety without eclipse
Whearieth me, May Lilian;
Thro' my every heart it thrilleth
When from crimson-threaded lips
Silver-treble laughter trilleth:
Prythee weep, May Lilian!


IV
Praying all I can,
If prayers will not hush thee,
Airy Lilian,
Like a rose-leaf I will crush thee,
Fairy Lilian.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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