Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THEIR SWEET SORROW, by JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY

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THEIR SWEET SORROW, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: They meet to say farewell: their
Last Line: Sweet as the dew's lip to the rose's.
Alternate Author Name(s): Johnson Of Boone, Benj. F.
Subject(s): Farewell; Grief; Kisses; Parting; Sorrow; Sadness

THEY meet to say farewell: Their way
Of saying this is hard to say --
He holds her hand an instant, wholly
Distressed -- and she unclasps it slowly.

He bends his gaze evasively
Over the printed page that she
Recurs to, with a new-moon shoulder
Glimpsed from the lace-mists that infold her.

The clock, beneath its crystal cup,
Discreetly clicks -- "Quick! Act! Speak up!"
A tension circles both her slender
Wrists -- and her raised eyes flash in splendor,

Even as he feels his dazzled own. --
Then, blindingly, round either thrown,
They feel a stress of arms that ever
Strain tremblingly -- and "Never! Never!"

Is whispered brokenly, with half
A sob, like a belated laugh, --
While cloyingly their blurred kiss closes, --
Sweet as the dew's lip to the rose's.

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