American Poetry 1922/Bubbles

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You had best be very cautious
you say, I love you.
If you accent the I,
she has an opening for,
who are you
to strut on ahead
and hint there aren't others,
aren't, weren't and won't be?
Blurt out the love,
she has suspicion for,
why not hitherto?—
what brings you bragging now?—
and what'll it be hereafter?
Defer to the you,
she has certitude for,
thanks, lad!—
but why argue about it?—
or fancy I'm lonesome?—
do I look as though you had to?
And having determined how
you'll say it,
you had next best ascertain
it is that you say it to.

That you're sure she's the one,
that there'll never be another,
never was one before.
And having determined whom
and having learned how,
when you bring these together,
inform the far of the intimate—
like a bubble on a pond,
emerging from below,
round wonderment completed
by the first sight of the sky—
what good will it do,
if she shouldn't, I love you?—
a bubble's but a bubble once,
a bubble grows to die.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1928.

The longest-living author of this work died in 1966, so this work is in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 56 years or less. This work may be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.