(24 June 1842 - 26 December 1913 / Horse Cave Creek, Ohio)

Again

Well, I've met her again-at the Mission.
She'd told me to see her no more;
It was not a command-a petition;
I'd granted it once before.

Yes, granted it, hoping she'd write me.
Repenting her virtuous freak-
Subdued myself daily and nightly
For the better part of a week.

And then ('twas my duty to spare her
The shame of recalling me) I
Just sought her again to prepare her
For an everlasting good-bye.

O, that evening of bliss-shall I ever
Forget it?-with Shakespeare and Poe!
She said, when 'twas ended: 'You're never
To see me again. And now go.'

As we parted with kisses 'twas human
And natural for me to smile
As I thought, 'She's in love, and a woman:
She'll send for me after a while.'

But she didn't; and so-well, the Mission
Is fine, picturesque and gray;
It's an excellent place for contrition
And sometimes she passes that way.

That's how it occurred that I met her,
And that's ah there is to tell-
Except that I'd like to forget her
Calm way of remarking: 'I'm well.'

It was hardly worth while, all this keying
My soul to such tensions and stirs
To learn that her food was agreeing
With that little stomach of hers.

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