Just wait awhile! [She gathers a star-flower and plucks off the leaves one after another.]
A nosegay may that be?
No! It is but a game.
Go, you’ll laugh at me!
[She plucks off the leaves and murmurs to herself.]
What murmurest thou?
MARGARET (half aloud)
He loves me—loves me not.
Sweet angel, with thy face of heavenly bliss!
He loves me—not—he loves me—not—
[plucking off the last leaf with fond joy.]
He loves me!
And this flower-language, darling, let it be
A heavenly oracle! He loveth thee!
Know’st thou the meaning of, He loveth thee?
[He seizes both her hands.]
I tremble so!
Nay! do not tremble, love!
Let this hand-pressure, let this glance reveal
Feelings, all power of speech above;
To give oneself up wholly and to feel
A joy that must eternal prove!
Eternal!—Yes, its end would be despair,
No end!—It cannot end!
[MARGARET presses his hand, extricates herself, and runs away. He stands a moment in thought, and then follows her.]
Yes, we’ll presently away.
I would entreat you longer yet to stay;
But ’tis a wicked place, just here about;
It is as if the folk had nothing else to do,
Nothing to think of too,
But gaping watch their neighbors, who goes in and out;
And scandal’s busy still, do whatsoe’er one may.
And our young couple?
They have flown up there,
The wanton butterflies!
He seems to take to her.
And she to him. ’Tis of the world the way!
[MARGARET runs in, hides behind the door, holds the tip of her finger to her lip, and peeps through the crevice.]