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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

What my Lover Said

By Homer Greene (1853–1940)

[Born in Lake Ariel, Wayne Co., Penn., 1853.]

BY the merest chance, in the twilight gloom,

In the orchard path he met me;

In the tall, wet grass, with its faint perfume,

And I tried to pass, but he made no room,

Oh I tried, but he would not let me.

So I stood and blushed till the grass grew red,

With my face bent down above it,

While he took my hand as he whispering said—

(How the clover lifted each pink, sweet head,

To listen to all that my lover said;

Oh, the clover in bloom, I love it!)

In the high, wet grass went the path to hide,

And the low, wet leaves hung over;

But I could not pass upon either side,

For I found myself, when I vainly tried,

In the arms of my steadfast lover.

And he held me there and he raised my head,

While he closed the path before me,

And he looked down into my eyes and said—

(How the leaves bent down from the boughs o’erhead,

To listen to all that my lover said,

Oh, the leaves hanging lowly o’er me!)

Had he moved aside but a little way,

I could surely then have passed him;

And he knew I never could wish to stay,

And would not have heard what he had to say,

Could I only aside have cast him.

It was almost dark, and the moments sped,

And the searching night-wind found us,

But he drew me nearer and softly said—

(How the pure, sweet wind grew still, instead,

To listen to all that my lover said;

Oh, the whispering wind around us!)

I am sure he knew, when he held me fast,

That I must be all unwilling;

For I tried to go, and I would have passed,

As the night was come with its dew, at last,

And the sky with its stars was filling.

But he clasped me close when I would have fled,

And he made me hear his story,

And his soul came out from his lips and said—

(How the stars crept out where the white moon led,

To listen to all that my lover said;

Oh, the moon and the stars in glory!)

I know that the grass and the leaves will not tell,

And I’m sure that the wind, precious rover,

Will carry my secret so safely and well

That no being shall ever discover

One word of the many that rapidly fell

From the soul-speaking lips of my lover;

And the moon and the stars that looked over

Shall never reveal what a fairy-like spell

They wove round about us that night in the dell,

In the path through the dew-laden clover,

Nor echo the whispers that made my heart swell

As they fell from the lips of my lover.

N. Y. Evening Post, 19 Nov., 1875.