James Whitcomb Riley

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

Man's Devotion


A lover said, 'O Maiden, love me well,
For I must go away:
And should ANOTHER ever come to tell
Of love--What WILL you say?'

And she let fall a royal robe of hair
That folded on his arm
And made a golden pillow for her there;
Her face--as bright a charm

As ever setting held in kingly crown--
Made answer with a look,
And reading it, the lover bended down,
And, trusting, 'kissed the book.'

He took a fond farewell and went away.
And slow the time went by--
So weary--dreary was it, day by day
To love, and wait, and sigh.

She kissed his pictured face sometimes, and said:
'O Lips, so cold and dumb,
I would that you would tell me, if not dead,
Why, why do you not come?'

The picture, smiling, stared her in the face
Unmoved--e'en with the touch
Of tear-drops--HERS--bejeweling the case--
'Twas plain--she loved him much.

And, thus she grew to think of him as gay
And joyous all the while,
And SHE was sorrowing--'Ah, welladay!'
But pictures ALWAYS smile!

And years--dull years--in dull monotony
As ever went and came,
Still weaving changes on unceasingly,
And changing, changed her name.

Was she untrue?--She oftentimes was glad
And happy as a wife;
But ONE remembrance oftentimes made sad
Her matrimonial life.--

Though its few years were hardly noted, when
Again her path was strown
With thorns--the roses swept away again,
And she again alone!

And then--alas! ah THEN!--her lover came:
'I come to claim you now--
My Darling, for I know you are the same,
And I have kept my vow

Through these long, long, long years, and now no more
Shall we asundered be!'
She staggered back and, sinking to the floor,
Cried in her agony:

'I have been false!' she moaned, '_I_ am not true--
I am not worthy now,
Nor ever can I be a wife to YOU--
For I have broke my vow!'

And as she kneeled there, sobbing at his feet,
He calmly spoke--no sign
Betrayed his inward agony--'I count you meet
To be a wife of mine!'

And raised her up forgiven, though untrue;
As fond he gazed on her,
She sighed,--'SO HAPPY!' And she never knew
HE was a WIDOWER.

Submitted: Friday, April 09, 2010

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

What do you think this poem is about?



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Man's Devotion by James Whitcomb Riley )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. The stars that whisper the name Star Buc.., Raymond Sawyer
  2. The Universe Of True Love, Poetic Lilly Emery
  3. A Halloween Haiku, Thomas Koron
  4. What a lovely night to see a star., Raymond Sawyer
  5. Lonely mirror ball., Simon Gowen
  6. NYBADET NAKEN, Gunnar Mo.
  7. Haiku 'Pebbles', miken newman
  8. Here Then Now There, Guillermo Veloso
  9. Life, Proud SugarBoe
  10. When You Had Left, Poetic Lilly Emery

Poem of the Day

poet George Gordon Byron

It is the hour when from the boughs
The nightingale's high note is heard;
It is the hour -- when lover's vows
Seem sweet in every whisper'd word;
And gentle winds and waters near,
...... Read complete »

 

Modern Poem

poet May Swenson

 

Member Poem

Trending Poems

  1. How to Write the Great American Indian N.., Sherman Alexie
  2. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  3. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  4. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
  5. And Death Shall Have No Dominion, Dylan Thomas
  6. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  7. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
  8. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  9. A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe
  10. It Is the Hour, George Gordon Byron

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]