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Poem by Henry Timrod

A Year's Courtship

I saw her, Harry, first, in March
 You know the street that leadeth down
By the old bridge's crumbling arch?
 Just where it leaves the dusty town

A lonely house stands grim and dark
 You've seen it? then I need not say
How quaint the place isdid you mark
 An ivied window?  Well! one day,

I, chasing some forgotten dream,
 And in a poet's idlest mood,
Caught, as I passed, a white hand's gleam
 A shutter openedthere she stood

Training the ivy to its prop.
 Two dark eyes and a brow of snow
Flashed down upon medid I stop?
 She says I didI do not know.

But all that day did something glow
 Just where the heart beats; frail and slight,
A germ had slipped its shell, and now
 Was pushing softly for the light.

And April saw me at her feet,
 Dear month of sunshine and of rain!
My very fears were sometimes sweet,
 And hope was often touched with pain.

For she was frank, and she was coy,
 A willful April in her ways;
And in a dream of doubtful joy
 I passed some truly April days.

May came, and on that arch, sweet mouth,
 The smile was graver in its play,
And, softening with the softening South,
 My April melted into May.

She loved me, yet my heart would doubt,
 And ere I spoke the month was June
One warm still night we wandered out
 To watch a slowly setting moon.

Something which I saw notmy eyes
 Were not on heavena star, perchance,
Or some bright drapery of the skies,
 Had caught her earnest, upper glance.

And as she pausedHal! we have played
 Upon the very spota fir
Just touched me with its dreamy shade,
 But the full moonlight fell on her

And as she pausedI know not why
 I longed to speak, yet could not speak;
The bashful are the boldestI
 I stooped and gently kissed her cheek.

A murmur (else some fragrant air
 Stirred softly) and the faintest start
O Hal! we were the happiest pair!
 O Hal! I clasped her heart to heart!

And kissed away some tears that gushed;
 But how she trembled, timid dove,
When my soul broke its silence, flushed
 With a whole burning June of love.

Since then a happy year hath sped
 Through months that seemed all June and May,
And soon a March sun, overhead,
 Will usher in the crowning day.

Twelve blessed moons that seemed to glow
 All summer, Hal!my peerless Kate!
She is the dearest"Angel?"no!
 Thank God!but you shall see herwait.

So all is told!  I count on thee
 To see the Priest, Hal!  Pass the wine!
Here's to my darling wife to be!
 And here's towhen thou find'st herthine!

Henry Timrod

Henry Timrod's other poems:
  1. To Whom?
  2. Sonnets. 14. Are These Wild Thoughts, Thus Fettered in My Rhymes
  3. Sonnets. 13. I Thank You, Kind and Best Beloved Friend
  4. A Dedication
  5. Præceptor Amat

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