Alfred Austin

(30 May 1835 – 2 June 1913 / Headingley)

Grata Juventas - Poem by Alfred Austin

She trembles when I touch
The tips of scarce-grown fingers,
Yet seems to think it overmuch
If for a moment lingers
Grasp that I hardly meant for such.

She clutcheth toy or book,
Or female hand beside her;
Now with askant, unsettled look,
Inviteth, then doth hide her,
Like struggling lily in a brook.

Anon she darteth glance
Athwart averted shoulder;
But when encouraged I advance,
Asudden waxing colder,
Her gaze lacks all significance.

O were she younger still,
Or more than a beginner,
I might control my troubled will,
Or give it rein and win her:
But now she is nor good nor ill.


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Poem Submitted: Thursday, April 8, 2010



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