Poems (1898)/Ma Belle

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MA BELLE

The world is full of charm, ma belle,
And blithe as you are young;
It echoes with a silver note
The lispings of your tongue;
It lays upon your fairy hand
A touch as light as down;
It smiles approval, and, ma belle,
You have not felt its frown.


The world is very rich, ma belle,
And all its gifts are yours.
It bows before you, little one,
And while the mood endures,
With roses, freshly garlanded,
Your pathway bright adorns;
But roses fade, ma belle, ma belle—
And there are left the thorns!


To snare your feet, the world, ma belle,
Has spread a shining net,
What wonder then, believing child,
If you awhile forget,
Midst suitors who to-night adore,
And may to-morrow range,
A love that has been always yours—
A love that cannot change!


What wonder!—still they whisper praise,
And I have oft reproved;
Of love they speak with eloquence,
And I have only loved.
Sometimes, alas, I envy them,
Yet in the days to be,
You may forget them all, ma belle—
But will remember me!