Nonfiction > E.C. Stedman & E.M. Hutchinson, eds. > A Library of American Literature > 1835–1860
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CONTENTS · VOLUME CONTENTS · INDEX TO AUTHORS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
Stedman and Hutchinson, comps.  A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes.  1891.
Vols. VI–VIII: Literature of the Republic, Part III., 1835–1860
 
Choose
By Sarah Jane Lippincott (Grace Greenwood) (1823–1904)
 
[Born in Pompey, N. Y., 1823. Died in New Rochelle, N. Y., 1904. Harper’s. 1870.]

MY tender thoughts go forth, beloved,
  Upon the pleasant morning hours,
With songs of mated birds, and sighs
  From virgin hearts of opening flowers.
 
Full laden with love’s daintiest store,        5
  Each smallest thought should come to thee,
As from the jasmine’s hidden cell
  Flies home the richly burdened bee.
 
My joyous thoughts go forth, beloved,
  Upon the golden airs of noon,        10
With languid sweets from roses rare
  That flush and faint through ardent June.
 
With all the swiftness of the streams
  That fling out laughter as they run,
With all the brightness of the day,        15
  With all the passion of the sun.
 
But when along the cloud-hung west
  The purple lights grow pale and die—
When waves of sunshine roll no more,
  And all one shade the corn-fields lie—        20
 
When twilight veils the hills, and gives
  A deeper mystery to the sea—
Then, O beloved! my saddened heart
  Yearns through the distance unto thee.
 
And when the winds come o’er the sands        25
  To sweep my lonely garden through,
To bow the saintly lily’s head,
  And spill the violet’s cup of dew—
 
And when they higher mount, and beat
  The elm’s long arms against the eaves,        30
Troubling the robin in its nest,
  And making tumult in the leaves—
 
Then in the dusk I seem to hear
  Strange sounds and whisperings of dread,
And every murmur in the grass        35
  Seems some unfriendly spirit’s tread.
 
I shrink within the shadowed porch,
  A nameless fear oppresseth me:
Oh, then my heart, like some lost child,
  Calls through the darkness unto thee!        40
 
So, dear, of all my life of love,
  Choose thou the best and sweetest part:
The glow of day, or gloom of night;
  The pride or terror of my heart;
 
The glad, exultant hope that fills        45
  The morning with its joyous strain,
Or twilight’s haunted loneliness,
  That stretches out its arms in vain.
 
Would sigh or carol move thee most?
  And were thy tenderest kiss bestowed        50
On eyes that droop with tears, or lips
  With careless laughter overflowed?
 
So questions, love, the foolish heart
  That would thy secret choice divine;
Yet idly questions, knowing well        55
  Thou canst not choose, since all is thine.
 
 
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