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Denis Florence MacCarthy
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 80 pages of information about Poems.

And I led him on and on,
  Farther, in truth, than I strove,
For he frightened me with the earnestness
  And violence of his love;
These calm-eyed men deceive—­
  Had I known the man had a heart,
I would have paused, I would, I believe,
  Have acted a different part.

In his royal indignation
  He uttered some wholesome truth—­
He almost roused the emotion
  That died in my innocent youth;
Emotion that lived when life was new,
  Ere that man my pathway crossed,
Who played me a game untrue,
  When I staked all my love, and lost.

Oh for a saintly beauty,
  What efforts my soul did make;
I thought all goodness and purity
  Were possible for his sake;
The world seemed born anew, my life
  Such holy meaning wore,
I fancy so fair and fond a dream
  Never fell into ruins before.

He toyed with my fresh affection
  As he breathed the country air,
To refresh him after a season
  Of fashion, and falsehood, and glare;
Had he not slain my tenderness,
  Had my life been more sweet,
I might have known nobler happiness
  Than to humble men to my feet.

But now I love to lure them on,
  To make them slaves to my gaze,
Like serfs to a conqueror’s chariot,
  Like moths to a candle-blaze. 
I melt most royally time, the pearl,
  And quaff the cup like a queen,
And forget in the dizzy tumult and whirl,
  The woman I might have been.


Clasp your arms round her neck to-night,
        Little Nell,
Arms so delicate, soft and white,
And yet so strong in love’s strange might;
Clasp them around the kneeling form,
Fold them tenderly close and warm,
        And who can tell
But such slight links may draw her back,
Away from the fatal, fatal track;
        Who can tell,
        Little Nell?

Press your lips to the lips of snow,
        Little Nell;
Oh baby heart, may you never know
The anguish that makes them quiver so;
But now in her weakness and mortal pain,
Let your kisses fall like a dewy rain,
        And who can tell
But your innocent love, your childish kiss
May lure her back from the dread abyss;
        Who can tell,
        Little Nell.

Lay your cheek on her aching breast,
        Little Nell;
To you ’tis a refuge of holy rest,
But a dying bird never drooped its crest
With a deadlier pain in its wounded heart;
Ah! love’s sweet links may be torn apart,
        Little Nell;
The altar may flame with gems and gold,
And splendor be bought, and peace be sold,
        But is it well,
        Little Nell?

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