A Daughter Returns

I like not that dainty-cut raiment, those earrings of pearl,
I like not the light in that eye;
I like not the note of that voice. Never so was the girl
Who a year ago bade me good-bye!

Hadst but come bare and moneyless, worn in the vamp, weather-gray,
But innocent still as before,
How warmly I'd lodged thee! But sport thy new gains far away;
I pray thee now — come here no more!

And yet I'll not try to blot out every memory of thee;
I'll think of thee — yes, now and then:
One who's watched thee since Time called thee out o' thy mother and me
Must think of thee; aye, I know when! . . .

When the cold sneer of dawn follows night-shadows black as a hearse,
And the rain filters down the fruit tree,
And the tempest mouths into the flue-top a word like a curse,
Then, then I shall think, think of thee!

17 December 1901
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