James Whitcomb Riley

7 October 1849 - 22 July 1916 / Greenfield, Indiana

The Little Lady

O The Little Lady's dainty
As the picture in a book,
And her hands are creamy-whiter
Than the water-lilies look;
Her laugh's the undrown'd music
Of the maddest meadow-brook.--
Yet all in vain I praise The Little Lady!

Her eyes are blue and dewy
As the glimmering Summer-dawn,--
Her face is like the eglantine
Before the dew is gone;
And were that honied mouth of hers
A bee's to feast upon,
He'd be a bee bewildered, Little Lady!

Her brow makes light look sallow;
And the sunshine, I declare,
Is but a yellow jealousy
Awakened by her hair--
For O the dazzling glint of it
Nor sight nor soul can bear,--
So Love goes groping for The Little Lady.

And yet she's neither Nymph nor Fay,
Nor yet of Angelkind:--
She's but a racing school-girl, with
Her hair blown out behind
And tremblingly unbraided by
The fingers of the Wind,
As it wildly swoops upon The Little Lady.
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