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Hilltop: A Literary Paper. Volume 1 Number 1

XV — The Girl at the Library

The Girl at the Library

You are as beautiful as a tree that grows
Close to a railroad, once glimpsed by one
Whom much travel greyed to the bone;
And which he remembers all his life
In dreams, or whenever his train grinds
Steaming to a halt at some bone-bare siding
For water, where the white heat rises
Out of the brilliant plain, and a tree grows
Cool among stones and is very beautiful,
But is not and cannot be the same.

Warm heart, warm mouth,
Lie still, lie beautiful.
You have no need to stir
Anymore, to-day;
You have no other function to fulfil.

Was it like this you
Lay, cool in your frock,
When your lover came
And kissed you
In the grass, and you lay still as a rock ?

Is this white hand
A dove, that the small
Wind seems to lift it from
The grass, lady
In the frock that half from the shoulder falls?

Are your eyes flowers?
Do they call you Rose,
May or Elizabeth ? And are
Your limbs always
So white they show like snowflakes upon grass?

Warm heart, warm mouth,
Lie still; lie beautiful.
You have no need to stir
Anymore, to-day;
You have no other function to fulfil.

Because beauty passes,
And other men bearing
Of your beauty, would not,
Or could not believe
Even if they tried,
You are so beautiful,
I wonder what's the price
To keep green the image
Of your memory; and who
Would not think me foolish
Supposing I paid the price.

page 17

I will remember this day as childhood
Its first birthday, or a man grown old
With despair, some one not perfect nor good,
But who once poured into life's dull mould
Her special sweetness; as a girl in love,
Hurt into great beauty in her lover's arms
Remembers her girlhood with tears wrung out of
Anguish and of joy.
Out of the night's alarms
You came into my life like the morning star.
Not time, nor rage, nor hate, nor bitterness,
Nor great wrongs done in passion's name, shall scar
The pure white of that remembered loveliness.