Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, MY WISTARIA GIRL, by CHARLES LOUIS HENRY WAGNER

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MY WISTARIA GIRL, by            
First Line: I walked a charming bit of country road
Last Line: Somehow—she's near.
Subject(s): Girls; Wisteria

I walked a charming bit of country road
Not long ago, that lay
Betwixt the city and my town abode,
'Twas warm, indeed, that day.
I rested on a rough stone wall beside a welcome spring
And listened to a Bob-white call; I whistled, answering
The noisy bird.

And then, so soft, I heard a sweeter sound
Come trilling back to me.
No echo that, I knew, no feathered warbler 'round
Could match such euphony.
And I,—I stood transfixed a moment with delight
Enraptured by that cry, "Bob White, Bob White,"
'Twas that I heard.

I gazed around, and there close to the street
I saw a drooping vine,
Rich with its purple-tinted blooms, and sweet
With perfume, scenting fine
The gentle summer breeze. It ran o'er trellised bower
Hiding the lattice work complete—each drooping flower
Like stalactites.

Half hidden close beside that flowered screen
A maiden stood, with face
As fair as any I in life had seen,
And regal, artless grace
Her figure bore; her auburn locks contrasted tints
Of softened greens and lilac, catching glints
Of summer lights.

A simple gown of pink, a flowing, untrimmed dress
Enhanced exquisite charms,
A pensive face, of wondrous comeliness,
A goddess ne'er had arms
So ravishingly white; one hand extended grasped
A trellis brace, the other gently clasped
A spiral bloom.

I met her eyes, my soul leaped from its bound,
Those liquid depths bespake
Such pleasant isles, ship "Reason" ran aground,
No light-buoys mark Love's lake;
Her cherry lips were sweetly pursed—a human mocking-bird
Was she, "Bob White" the Lorelei that I heard
Had sealed my doom.

One smile she gave, one roguish, witching smile,
And said, "A simple joke,
My Bob-White call."—So artless, free from guile
And musical she spoke,
Methought that Pan had taught his golden pipes to her
As he had taught Apollo how to stir
Each wind-blown reed.

I wonder—Was the wistaria's strong scent
Of opiatic kind,
That froze my tongue, and virulent
Had stupified my mind?
I answered not, 'twas sacrilege for me to speak
To one divine,—I stood there, abject, weak,
Nor dared proceed.

An understanding nod, then like a flash
Of sun on silvered glass
She rushed away.—I heard the water plash
Against the stones, the grass
Beneath my feet, no longer soft, seemed toughened brake,
No rustic charm was left, no spring could slake
My love-thirst drear.

I've planted vines beside my cottage door,
Wistarias so sweet;
I dream of her, I see her there once more,
My picture's incomplete.
It lacks her voice, her smile, her eyes with mischief's light,
But when I hear at times a shrill "Bob White,"
Somehow—she's near.

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