Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, AMY'S LOVE-LETTER, by PHOEBE CARY



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AMY'S LOVE-LETTER, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Turning some papers carelessly
Last Line: But he's either married or dead.
Subject(s): Letters; Love


TURNING some papers carelessly
That were hid away in a desk unused,
I came upon something yesterday
O'er which I pondered and mused:

A letter, faded now and dim,
And stained in places, as if by tears;
And yet I had hardly thought of him
Who traced its pages for years.

Though once the happy tears made dim
My eyes, and my blushing cheeks grew hot,
To have but a single word from him,
Fond or foolish, no matter what.

If he ever quoted another's rhymes,
Poor in themselves and common-place,
I said them over a thousand times,
As if he had lent them a grace.

The single color that pleased his taste
Was the only one I would have, or wear,
Even in the girdle about my waist
Or the ribbon that bound my hair.

Then my flowers were the self-same kind and hue;
And yet how strangely one forgets --
I cannot think which one of the two
It was, or roses or violets!

But oh, the visions I knew and nursed,
While I walked in a world unseen before!
For my world began when I knew him first,
And must end when he came no more.

We would have died for each other's sake,
Would have given all else in the world below;
And we said and thought that our hearts would break
When we parted, years ago.

How the pain as well as the rapture seems
A shadowy thing I scarce recall,
Passed wholly out of my life and dreams,
As though it had never been at all.

And is this the end, and is here the grave
Of our steadfast love and our changeless faith
About which the poets sing and rave,
Naming it strong as death?

At least 't is what mine has come to at last,
Stript of all charm and all disguise;
And I wonder if, when he thinks of the past,
He thinks we were foolish or wise?

Well, I am content, so it matters not;
And, speaking about him, some one said --
I wish I could only remember what --
But he's either married or dead.





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