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Songs, Merry and Sad   By: (1874-1907)

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by John Charles McNeill

[American (North Carolina) poet. 1874 1907.]



The Bride "Oh, Ask Me Not" Isabel To To Melvin Gardner: Suicide Away Down Home For Jane's Birthday A Secret The Old Bad Woman Valentine A Photograph Jesse Covington An Idyl Home Songs M. W. Ransom Protest Oblivion Now! Tommy Smith Before Bedtime "If I Could Glimpse Him" Attraction Love's Fashion Alcestis Reminiscence Sonnet Lines An Easter Hymn A Christmas Hymn When I Go Home Odessa Trifles Sunburnt Boys Gray Days An Invalid A Caged Mocking Bird Dawn Harvest Two Pictures October The Old Clock Tear Stains A Prayer She Being Young Paul Jones The Drudge The Wife Vision September Barefooted Pardon Time The Rattlesnake The Prisoner Sonnet Folk Song "97": The Fast Mail Sundown At Sea L'envoi


The Bride

The little white bride is left alone With him, her lord; the guests have gone; The festal hall is dim. No jesting now, nor answering mirth. The hush of sleep falls on the earth And leaves her here with him.

Why should there be, O little white bride, When the world has left you by his side, A tear to brim your eyes? Some old love face that comes again, Some old love moment sweet with pain Of passionate memories?

Does your heart yearn back with last regret For the maiden meads of mignonette And the fairy haunted wood, That you had not withheld from love, A little while, the freedom of Your happy maidenhood?

Or is it but a nameless fear, A wordless joy, that calls the tear In dumb appeal to rise, When, looking on him where he stands, You yield up all into his hands, Pleading into his eyes?

For days that laugh or nights that weep You two strike oars across the deep With life's tide at the brim; And all time's beauty, all love's grace Beams, little bride, upon your face Here, looking up at him.

"Oh, Ask Me Not"

Love, should I set my heart upon a crown, Squander my years, and gain it, What recompense of pleasure could I own? For youth's red drops would stain it.

Much have I thought on what our lives may mean, And what their best endeavor, Seeing we may not come again to glean, But, losing, lose forever.

Seeing how zealots, making choice of pain, From home and country parted, Have thought it life to leave their fellows slain, Their women broken hearted;

How teasing truth a thousand faces claims, As in a broken mirror, And what a father died for in the flames His own son scorns as error;

How even they whose hearts were sweet with song Must quaff oblivion's potion, And, soon or late, their sails be lost along The all surrounding ocean:

Oh, ask me not the haven of our ships, Nor what flag floats above you! I hold you close, I kiss your sweet, sweet lips, And love you, love you, love you!


When first I stood before you, Isabel, I stood there to adore you, In your spell; For all that grace composes, And all that beauty knows is Your face above the roses, Isabel.

You knew the charm of flowers, Isabel, Which, like incarnate hours, Rose and fell At your bosom, glowed and gloried, White and pale and pink and florid, And you touched them with your forehead, Isabel... Continue reading book >>

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