Eliza Cook

(24 December 1818 – 23 September 1889 / London Road / Southwark / England)

Grey-eyed mabel


I gazed on orbs of flashing black;
I met the glow of hazel light;
I marked the hue of laughing blue,
That sparkled in the festive night.
But none could fling a lasting spell
To hold me with unchanging power--
The chains they cast were never fast
Beyond the gay and fleeting hour--
Till Grey-eyed Mabel's gentle glance,
With blushing sense and beauty rife,
Bade my soul cry with burning sigh,
'I'm thine, and only thine, for life.'
Black, blue, and hazel stars have set,
But Mabel's grey eyes lead me yet.

What was it in sweet Mabel's eyes
That told me what no others told,
That roused the dull, that pleased the wise,
That charmed the young and cheered the old?
What was it held my world-worn breast
In holy thrall--unknown before?
What was it those grey eyes expressed
That made me worship and adore?
It was the pure and tender ray
That filled those eyes in joy or woe;
It was the beam that could not play
Without the fountain stream below;
It was the beam of simple truth,
Of Woman's faith and trusting Youth.

Those soft, grey eyes were watched by mine
With earnest, deep, and secret prayer;
I knew, I felt, my earthly shrine
Was found and fixed for ever--there.
I poured my heart one moonlit night
Into sweet Mabel's listening ear;
Our mutual vow, from then till now,
Bound each to each--fond, firm, and dear.
Our boys and girls are growing round,
And all give promise, brave and fair,
But one, young cherub form is found
First in my love, my hope, my care.
And why?--ah! why? My soul replies,
'She has dear Mabel's soft, grey eyes.'

Submitted: Monday, April 19, 2010

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