Baxter Print

A GAINST a tree that might be any tree,
Mid leaves of every season, sits a lady
In silk and velvet, with equable soft eyes.
Her hair is like a shell smooth with the sea,
Her face is porcelain; and in that shady
Green stirless bower she sits, beyond surprise,
And in her lap an unread letter lies.

Is it that colour makes the loveliness?
Is it that never-recoverable serene?
Is it the fingers lying gently laced?
Is it the mingling light and shadowiness
That draws my eyes, the ever-living green
That draws my heart? — Never to be embraced,
Maybe, by warm soft hands her hidden waist.

Love loves not reasons, and I know not why
I love her; maybe but because she is mine,
Or because first on her my questions fell
As I peered at her with a childish eye,

And hers looked down at me with tranquil shine,
While I thought of the letter that might well —
If she dare read it — all her story tell.
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