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Edith Nesbit

Appeal

Daphnis dearest, wherefore weave me
Webs of lies lest truth should grieve me?
I could pardon much, believe me:
Dower me, Daphnis, or bereave me,
Kiss me, kill me, love me, leave me,-
Damn me, dear, but don't deceive me!

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The Whirligig Of Time

Before your feet,
My love, my sweet,
Behold! your slave bows down;
And in his hands
From other lands
Brings you another crown.

For in far climes,
In bygone times,
Myself was royal too:
Oh, I have been
A king, my queen,
Who am a slave for you!

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At Parting

Go, since you must, but, Dearest, know
That, Honour having bid you go,
Your honour, if your life be spent,
Shall have a costly monument.

This heart, that fire and roses is
Beneath the magic of your kiss,
Shall turn to marble if you die
And be your deathless effigy.

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Birthday Talk For A Child

(IRIS.)

DADDY dear, I'm only four
And I'd rather not be more:
Four's the nicest age to be--
Two and two, or one and three.

All I love is two and two,
Mother, Fabian, Paul and you;
All you love is one and three,
Mother, Fabian, Paul and me.

Give your little girl a kiss
Because she learned and told you this.

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Philosophy

The sulky sage scarce condescends to see
This pretty world of sun and grass and leaves;
To him 'tis all illusion--only he
Is real amid the visions he perceives.

No sage am I, and yet, by Love's decree,
To me the world's a masque of shadows too,
And I a shadow also--since to me
The only real thing in life is--you.

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Fear

If you were here,
Hopes, dreams, ambitions, faith would disappear,
Drowned in your eyes; and I should touch your hand,
Forgetting all that now I understand.
For you confuse my life with memories
Of unrememberable ecstasies
Which were, and are not, and can never be; . . .
Ah! keep the whole earth between you and me.

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Lullaby

SLEEP, sleep, my treasure,
The long day's pleasure
Has tired the birds, to their nests they creep;
The garden still is
Alight with lilies,
But all the daisies are fast asleep.


Sleep, sleep, my darling,
Dawn wakes the starling,
The sparrow stirs when he sees day break;
But all the meadow
Is wrapped in shadow,
And you must sleep till the daisies wake!

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Dream-Dew

WHITE bird of love, lie warm upon my breast,
White flower of love, lie cool against my face!
Teach me to dream again a little space
Ere this dream, too, sink earthward with the rest.

Teach me to dream my heart still pure as snow,
Teach me to dream my lips deserve this grace:
Then let me wake in some forgotten place,
And know you gone, but never see you go.

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Song

Now the Spring is waking,
Very shy as yet,
Busy mending, making
Grass and violet.
Frowsy Winter's over:
See the budding lane!
Go and meet your lover:
Spring is here again!

Every day is longer
Than the day before;
Lambs are whiter, stronger,
Birds sing more and more;
Woods are less than shady,
Griefs are more than vain -
Go and kiss your lady:
Spring is here again!

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The Lower Room

How soft the lamplight falls
On pictures, books,
And pleasant coloured walls
And curtains drawn!
How happily one looks
On glowing flame and ember;
Ah, why should one remember
Dew and dawn!

Here age and wisdom sit
Calm and discreet,
Life and the fruit of it
Are here in truth,
Whose gathering once was sweet--
Wisdom and age! Well met!
Yet neither can forget
Folly and youth!

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