Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, SIXTEEN, by ALICE CARY

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SIXTEEN, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Suppose your hand with power supplied
Last Line: And suffer back to where I stand.
Subject(s): Teenagers

SUPPOSE your hand with power supplied, --
Say, would you slip it 'neath my hair,
And turn it to the golden side
Of sixteen years? Suppose you dare?

And I stood here with smiling mouth,
Red cheeks, and hands all softly white,
Exceeding beautiful with youth,
And that some sly, consenting sprite,

Brought dreams as bright as dreams can be,
To keep the shadows from my brow,
And plucked down hearts to pleasure me,
As you would roses from a bough;

What could I do then? idly wear --
While all my mates went on before --
The bashful looks and golden hair
Of sixteen years, and nothing more!

Nay, done with youth is my desire,
To Time I give no false abuse,
Experience is the marvelous fire
That welds our knowledge into use.

And all its fires of heart, or brain,
Where purpose into power was wrought,
I'd bear, and gladly bear again,
Rather than be put back one thought.

So sigh no more, my gentle friend,
That I have reached the time of day
When white hairs come, and heart-beats send
No blushes through the cheeks astray.

For, could you mould my destiny
As clay within your loving hand,
I'd leave my youth's sweet company,
And suffer back to where I stand.

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