James Whitcomb Riley

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

The Rival


I so loved once, when Death came by I hid
   Away my face,
And all my sweetheart's tresses she undid
   To make my hiding-place.

The dread shade passed me thus unheeding; and
   I turned me then
To calm my love -- kiss down her shielding hand
   And comfort her again.

And lo! she answered not: and she did sit
   All fixedly,
With her fair face and the sweet smile of it,
   In love with Death, not me.

Submitted: Saturday, January 04, 2003

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