Page:All quiet along the Potomac and other poems.djvu/133

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ON THE STAIRS. I2/

And then, with the moon at the full, Came a madness, a swift declaration

That Dahlia s white hand held the world For her lover the old affirmation.

She " was greatly surprised ! Did not think It was earnest. So sorry thought truly

His love was a brother s." His head Swiftly whirled as she answered so coolly.

It was dark after that, for a while,

To the boy, who had bravely been wearing

His heart on his sleeve. A rough blow Cutting deeply, like dagger unsparing.

Fifteen years ago a fair myth

That once touched his life very nearly

Was Dahlia. To-day at the Springs The myth grew a fact very clearly.

��There was, maybe, a slight quickened pulse

In remembrance, as some one said nigh him, " There s Dahlia Tremaine." It was stilled As a matronly figure passed by him.

Stout, blowsy, on dinners intent, With dress illy-chosen and glaring ;

So Gaston saw Dahlia Tremaine,

The nymph of the stairway, uncaring.

�� �