Richard Le Gallienne

(1866-1947 / England)

The Heart On The Sleeve - Poem by Richard Le Gallienne

I wore my heart upon my sleeve,
Tis most unwise, they say, to do--
But then how could I but believe
The foolish thing was safe with you?
Yet, had I known, 'twas safer far
With wolves and tigers, the wild sea
Were kinder to it than you are--
Sweetheart, how you must laugh at me!

Yet am I glad I did not know
That creatures of such tender bloom,
Beneath their sanctuary snow,
Were such cold ministers of doom;
For had I known, as I began
To love you, ere we flung apart,
I had not been so glad a man
As holds his lady to his heart.

And am I lonely here to-night
With empty eyes, the cause is this,
Your face it was that gave me sight,
My heart ran over with your kiss.
Still do I think that what I laid
Before the altar of your face,
Flower of words that shall not fade,
Were worthy of a moment's grace;

Some thoughtless, lightly dropped largesse,
A touch of your immortal hand
Laid on my brow in tenderness,
Though you could never understand.
And yet with hungered lips to touch
Your feet of pearl and in your face
To look a little was over-much--
In heaven is no such fair a place
As, broken-hearted, at your feet
To lie there and to kiss them, sweet.

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, April 14, 2010

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