Lizette Woodworth Reese (January 9, 1856 – December 17, 1935 / Waverly)
Her eyes be like the violets,
Ablow in Sudbury lane;
When she doth smile, her face is sweet
As blossoms after rain;
With grief I think of my gray hairs,
And wish me young again.
In comes she through the dark old door
Upon this Sabbath day;
And she doth bring the tender wind
That sings in bush and tree;
And hints of all the apple boughs
That kissed her by the way.
Our parson stands up straight and tall,
For our dear souls to pray,
And of the place where sinners go
Some grewsome things doth say:
Now, she is highest Heaven to me;
So Hell is far away.
Most stiff and still the good folk sit
To hear the sermon through;
But if our God be such a God,
And if these things be true,
Why did He make her then so fair,
And both her eyes so blue?
A flickering light, the sun creeps in,
And finds her sitting there;
And touches soft her lilac gown,
And soft her yellow hair;
I look across to that old pew,
And have both praise and prayer.
Oh, violets in Sudbury lane,
Amid the grasses green,
This maid who stirs ye with her feet
Is far more fair, I ween!
I wonder how my forty years
Look by her sweet sixteen!
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