With my brown-eyed girl, this prow
Would not turn for hours still;
But the Signor bids, commands,
I am here to do his will,
He is master.
Glide we on; so, faster, faster.
Now the two are safely landed.
Buono mano, grazie, Signor,
They who love are open-handed.
She has said “yes,” and the world
There she sits as she sat in my dream;
There she sits, and the blue waves gleam,
And the current bears us along the while
For happy mile after happy mile,
A fairy boat on a fairy stream.
The Angelus bells siring to and fro,
And the sunset lingers to hear their swell,
For the sunset loves such music well.
A big, bright moon is hovering low,
Where the edge of the sky is all aglow,
Like the middle heart of a red, red shell.
The Lido floats like a purple flower;
Orange and rose are the sails at sea;
Silk and pink the surf-line free
Tumbles and chimes, and the perfect hour
Clasps us and folds us in its power,
Folds us and holds us, my love and me.
Can there be sadness anywhere
In the world to-night? Or tears or sighs
Beneath such festal moon and skies?
Can there be memory or despair?
What is it, beloved? Why point you there,
With sudden dew in those dearest eyes?
Yes! one sad thing on the happy earth!
Like a mourner’s veil in the bridal array,
Or a sorrowful sigh in the music gay,
A shade on the sun, in the feast a dearth,
Drawn like a ghost across our way,
Torcello sits and rebukes our mirth.
She sits a widow who sat as queen,
Ashes on brows once crowned and bright;
Woe in the eyes once full of light;
Her sad, fair roses and manifold green,
All bitter and pallid and heavy with night,
Are full of the shadows of woes unseen.
Let us hurry away from her face unblest,
Row us away, for the song is done,
The Angelus bells cease, one by one,
Pepita’s head lies on my breast;
But, trembling and full of a vague unrest,
I long for the morrow and for the sun.
Yes, God has made me
And I am content to be
Just what He meant, not reaching out
For other things, since He
Who knows me best and loves me most has ordered this for me.
A woman, to live my
In quiet womanly ways,
Hearing the far-off battle,
Seeing as through a haze
The crowding, struggling world of men fight through their busy
I am not strong or valiant,
I would not join the fight
Or jostle with crowds in the highways
To sully my garments white;
But I have rights as a woman, and here I claim my right.