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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889


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,

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,

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,

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—

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

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,

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

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!

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

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

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

Thou canst not choose, since all is thine.