Robert Louis Stevenson

(1850-1894 / Edinburgh / Scotland)

Ne Sit Ancillae Tibi Amor Pudor


THERE'S just a twinkle in your eye
That seems to say I MIGHT, if I
Were only bold enough to try
An arm about your waist.
I hear, too, as you come and go,
That pretty nervous laugh, you know;
And then your cap is always so
Coquettishly displaced.

Your cap! the word's profanely said.
That little top-knot, white and red,
That quaintly crowns your graceful head,
No bigger than a flower,
Is set with such a witching art,
Is so provocatively smart,
I'd like to wear it on my heart,
An order for an hour!

O graceful housemaid, tall and fair,
I love your shy imperial air,
And always loiter on the stair
When you are going by.
A strict reserve the fates demand;
But, when to let you pass I stand,
Sometimes by chance I touch your hand
And sometimes catch your eye.

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

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