Verse > Anthologies > Higginson and Bigelow, eds. > American Sonnets
Higginson and Bigelow, comps.  American Sonnets.  1891.
“When she comes home”
By James Whitcomb Riley (1849–1916)
WHEN she comes home again! A thousand ways
  I fashion, to myself, the tenderness
  Of my glad welcome: I shall tremble—yes;
  And touch her as when first in the old days
I touched her girlish hand, nor dared upraise        5
  Mine eyes, such was my faint heart’s sweet distress.
  Then silence, and the perfume of her dress:
  The room will sway a little, and a haze
Cloy eyesight—soulsight, even—for a space:
  And tears—yes; and the ache here in the throat,        10
  To know that I so ill deserve the place
Her arms make for me; and the sobbing note
  I stay with kisses, ere the tearful face
  Again is hidden in the old embrace.

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