James Whitcomb Riley

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

The Quest


I am looking for Love. Has he passed this way,
With eyes as blue as the skies of May,
And a face as fair as the summer dawn?--
You answer back, but I wander on,--
For you say: 'Oh, yes; but his eyes were gray,
And his face as dim as a rainy day.'

Good friends, I query, I search for Love;
His eyes are as blue as the skies above,
And his smile as bright as the midst of May
When the truce-bird pipes: Has he passed this way?
And one says: 'Ay; but his face, alack!
Frowned as he passed, and his eyes were black.'

O who will tell me of Love? I cry!
His eyes are as blue as the mid-May sky,
And his face as bright as the morning sun;
And you answer and mock me, every one,
That his eyes were dark, and his face was wan,
And he passed you frowning and wandered on.

But stout of heart will I onward fare,
Knowing _my_ Love is beyond--somewhere,--
The Love I seek, with the eyes of blue,
And the bright, sweet smile unknown of you;
And on from the hour his trail is found
I shall sing sonnets the whole year round.

Submitted: Friday, April 09, 2010

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