Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, KATIE LEE AND WILLIE GREY, by JOSIE R. HUNT



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KATIE LEE AND WILLIE GREY, by            
First Line: Two brown heads with tossing curls
Last Line: And has -- rockers at the side.
Subject(s): Love


TWO BROWN HEADS with tossing curls,
Red lips shutting over pearls,
Bare feet, white and wet with dew,
Two eyes black, and two eyes blue;
Little girl and boy were they,
Katie Lee and Willie Grey.

They were standing where a brook,
Bending like a shepherd's crook,
Flashed its silver, and thick ranks
Of willow fringed its mossy banks;
Half in thought, and half in play,
Katie Lee and Willie Grey.

They had cheeks like cherries red;
He was taller -- 'most a head;
She, with arms like wreaths of snow,
Swung a basket to and fro
As she loitered, half in play,
Chattering to Willie Grey.

"Pretty Katie," Willie said --
And there came a dash of red
Through the brownness of his cheek --
"Boys are strong and girls are weak,
And I'll carry, so I will,
Katie's basket up the hill."

Katie answered with a laugh,
"You shall carry only half;"
And then, tossing back her curls,
"Boys are weak as well as girls."
Do you think that Katie guessed
Half the wisdom she expressed?

Men are only boys grown tall;
Hearts don't change much, after all;
And when, long years from that day,
Katie Lee and Willie Grey
Stood again beside the brook,
Bending like a shepherd's crook,

Is it strange that Willie said,
While again a dash of red
Crossed the brownness of his cheek,
"I am strong and you are weak;
Life is but a slippery steep,
Hung with shadows cold and deep.

"Will you trust me, Katie dear --
Walk beside me without fear?
May I carry, if I will,
All your burdens up the hill?"
And she answered, with a laugh,
"No, but you may carry half."

Close beside the little brook
Bending like a shepherd's crook,
Washing with its silver hands
Late and early at the sands,
Is a cottage, where to-day
Katie lives with Willie Grey.

In a porch she sits, and lo!
Swings a basket to and fro,
Vastly different from the one
That she swung in years agone.
This is long and deep and wide,
And has -- rockers at the side.





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