James Whitcomb Riley

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

Dearth - Poem by James Whitcomb Riley

I hold your trembling hand to-night-- and yet
I may not know what wealth of bliss is mine,
My heart is such a curious design
Of trust and jealousy! Your eyes are wet--
So must I think they jewel some regret--,
And lo, the loving arms that round me twine
Cling only as the tendrils of a vine
Whose fruit has long been gathered: I forget,
While crimson clusters of your kisses press
Their wine out on my lips, my royal fair
Of rapture, since blind fancy needs must guess
They once poured out their sweetness otherwhere,
With fuller flavoring of happiness
Than e'en your broken sobs may now declare.


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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 9, 2010



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