To a Foreigner

Aye, for I knew you foreign! Plain to me
The anxiety that trembled in your gaze —
Your brave but heavy-burning secrecy
Compelled by our more coarse and clumsy ways.

O lovely, lovely! Terror in the eyes,
Poor eagerness to do what men expect:
Willing to stifle your own gay surprise
And pass unquestionable, trim, correct —

Shall you, who have untellable things to say,
Who hear inaudibles, guess the unknown,
" Assimilate, " bewildered emigre ,
In our suspicious and mechanic zone?

Be ever foreign, beautiful and strange!
Nor naturalize (wild word!) that rebel blood:
Docility and use must never change
Your sweet enchanting reckless alienhood.

How did I know you foreign? Your most droll
Blithe candour, so unlike our timid style;
Courteous to our queer modes, yet you console
Your humour with a small comparative smile.

How did I know you stranger, troubled, lonely,
Thrilled and yet puzzled in a foreign land,
Dear excommunicate? — Ah perhaps only
Since I am outlandish too. You understand.
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