Poetry of Kansas

The Old Story .

Fair maid thy pardon grant to me,
Of this style of addressing thee,
Or in these lines there seems to be
          Too much familiarity.
The feeling of thy heart, I trust,
Will not condemn me as unjust;
But if there is offence, I must
          Plead to thy generosity.
My motive I can hardly tell,
Unless it be that magic spell
That loves within thy smile to dwell__
          A charm of maiden modesty.
Perhaps thine eyes have played their part;
From out their liquid depths, a dart
From Cupid's bow has pierced my heart
          With consequent fatality.
It may be that some winning grace,
Some holy thought shines o'er thy face,
Which in my memory holds a place
          As bright as immortality.
Perhaps some act, some Christian deed
Vouchsafed to some poor one in need,
Has soothed with love a broken reed,
          And touched a chord of sympathy.
It may be that some cruel mind
Has tried thy character to bind
With words of hate. Thou'rt ever kind,
          Benevolent with charity.
Benevolence, thy name is Love,
Winged from the holy lights above:
Thy power o'er hearts I fain would prove
          And turn hope to reality.
Perhaps some other's hope is fair,
With thee life's blessedness to share,
To cherish with protecting care
          Thy heart with love's fidelity.
For nature will assert her claim:
With love's young dream thy heart inflame,
And call it by that sacred name
          Which lasts to all eternity.
I'm not a man of gilded wealth,
Nor would I gain by fraud or stealth;
But rich in honesty and health,
          I'd leave my name a legacy.
If thou hast never felt the smart
Of Cupid's arrow in thy heart,
Let me the secret, sweet, impart,
          And Love our lives shall glorify.

__Lorrin C. Rogers .

Poets and Poetry of Kansas
Edited by Thomas W. Herringshaw
(Chicago: American Publishers' Association. 1894)
Page 151

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September 1, 2002 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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