Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
 
642. The Flight from the Convent
 
By Theodore Tilton
 
 
I SEE the star-lights quiver,
Like jewels in the river;
The bank is hid with sedge;
What if I slip the edge?
        I thought I knew the way        5
        By night as well as day:
  But how a lover goes astray!
 
The place is somewhat lonely—
I mean for just one only;
I brought the boat ashore        10
An hour ago or more.
        Well, I will sit and wait;
        She fixed the hour at eight:
  Good angels! bring her not too late!
 
To-morrow’s tongues that name her        15
Will hardly dare to blame her:
A lily still is white
Through all the dark of night:
        The morning sun shall show
        A bride as pure as snow,        20
  Whose wedding all the world shall know.
 
O God! that I should gain her!
But what can so detain her?
Hist, yelping cur! thy bark
Will fright her in the dark.        25
        What! striking nine? that ’s fast!
        Is some one walking past?
  —Oho! so thou art come at last!
 
But why thy long delaying?
Alack! thy beads and praying!        30
If thou, a saint, dost hope
To kneel and kiss the Pope,
        Then I, a sinner, know
        Where sweeter kisses grow—
  Nay, now, just once before we go!        35
 
Nay, twice, and by St. Peter
The second was the sweeter!
Quick now, and in the boat!
Good-by, old tower and moat!
        May mildew from the sky        40
        Drop blindness on the eye
  That lurks to watch our going by!
 
O saintly maid! I told thee
No convent-walls could hold thee.
Look! yonder comes the moon!        45
We started none too soon.
        See how we pass that mill!
        What! is the night too chill?
  —Then I must fold thee closer still!
 

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