Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, DOROTHEA, by SARAH NORCLIFFE CLEGHORN



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DOROTHEA, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Young is she, and slight to view
Last Line: Pearl of twilight, on her knee.


Young is she, and slight to view
In her home-made cambric dresses:
Are her sweet eyes grey or blue?
Shade of twilight are her tresses.
Fairy-fine at first she seems;
But a longer look confesses
She's more wholesome stuff than dreams!

(Yet I mind an April moon
Shining down an orchard alley:
From one book, companions boon,
There we read "Love In The Valley."
And I saw bright phantoms race,
Thousand phantoms fleet and rally
All across her lighted face.)

Once, within that ancient ground
Where her fathers all lie sleeping,
She, beside a recent mound,
Still and tender, but not weeping,
Stood: that picture on my heart
Fair am I forever keeping:
With that look I would not part.

O but in her maiden days
How she led the children trooping
Through the old familiar plays!
Up her sash and flounces looping,
If the tiniest lost his cue,
To his side she ran, and stooping,
Caught his hand and danced him through.

Met you her in Hemlock Wood
In the white midwinter weather,
When the pine's a tufted hood
And the fern's a crystal feather?
Heard you then her yodel sweet
And a far reply, together
Float in echo where they meet?

Ariel voice, from range to range
Lightly tossed and sweetly flying!
All her notes to murmurs change
When the winter light is dying:
All in magic murmurs she
Laps and lulls the wee one lying,
Pearl of twilight, on her knee.





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