James Whitcomb Riley

7 October 1849 - 22 July 1916 / Greenfield, Indiana

To The Serenader

Tinkle on, O sweet guitar,
Let the dancing fingers
Loiter where the low notes are
Blended with the singer's:
Let the midnight pour the moon's
Mellow wine of glory
Down upon him through the tune's
Old romantic story!

I am listening, my love,
Through the cautious lattice,
Wondering why the stars above
All are blinking at us;
Wondering if his eyes from there
Catch the moonbeam's shimmer
As it lights the robe I wear
With a ghostly glimmer.

Lilt thy song, and lute away
In the wildest fashion:--
Pour thy rippling roundelay
O'er the heights of passion!--
Flash it down the fretted strings
Till thy mad lips, missing
All but smothered whisperings,
Press this rose I'm kissing.
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