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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Eliza Calvert Hall (1856–1935)

A Modern Psyche

She Speaks
BUT do not go—I like to have you near me;

Not quite so near—sit there, sir, if you please.

The orchestra is silent; you can hear me:

And distance puts us both more at our ease.

I missed you yesterday past all expression,

Though winged with song and mirth the bright hours flew;

Because I think—pray mark my frank confession—

That no one loves me quite so well as you.

It may be as you say, that I am taking

A false step that I never can retrace;

Perhaps some day will come a bitter waking,

When love has fled with youth and youth’s sweet grace.

Listen! there’s some one singing ‘Traviata’:

“Gayly through life”—ah, yes! ’tis apropos!

Your arm, mon ami. A swift waltz will scatter

And turn to blissful breath those sighs of woe.

’Tis strange! I do not care to take your heart, sir,

In fair exchange; and yet, strong jealous wrath

Would kindle all my soul should you depart, sir,

To lay it in some other woman’s path.

“Selfish,” am I, and “void of feelings tender”?

Perhaps; but then, I’m sure you can but own

That for a foot so finely arched and slender

A heart is just the fittest stepping-stone.

And if you bade me cease my idle playing

On the tired chords my hands have swept for years,

I think the moonlight o’er my pillow straying

Would find it slightly wet with “idle tears.”

And yet I love you not. Nay, do not start!

The reason, sir, you never could discover:

Another mystery of a woman’s heart,—

I love the love, but cannot love the lover.