(Angelina Weld Grimke)

Rosabel
I
Leaves, that whisper, whisper ever,
Listen, listen, pray;
Birds, that twitter, twitter softly,
Do not say me nay;
Winds, that breathe about, upon her,
(Since I do not dare)
Whisper, twitter, breathe unto her
That I find her fair.

II
Rose whose soul unfolds white petaled
Touch her soul rose-white;
Rose whose thoughts unfold gold petaled
Blossom in her sight;
Rose whose heart unfolds red petaled
Quick her slow heart's stir;
Tell her white, gold, red my love is;
And for her,--for her.



You
I love your throat, so fragrant, fair,
The little pulses beating there;
Your eye-brows' shy and questioning air;
I love your shadowed hair.

I love your flame-touched ivory skin;
Your little fingers frail and thin;
Your dimple creeping out and in;
I love your pointed chin.

I love the way you move, you rise;
Your fluttering gestures, just-caught cries;
I am not sane, I am not wise,
God! how I love your eyes!



Naughty Nan
I

Naughty Nan
If you can
Tell me how your frowns and smiles,
Sudden tears, and naive wiles,
Linked into a glittering band
Follow swiftly hand in hand?
Tell me wayward April-born,
Child of smiles and tears forlorn,
Have you ever felt the smart
Of a lacerated heart?
Are you but a sprite of moods?
Heartless, that fore'er deludes
Tell me naughty Nan?

II

Naughty Nan
If you can
Tell me why you have such eyes
Gleaming when not drooped in sighs
Or when veiled by falling rain?
Haughty oft but never vain
Sometime wistful orbs of brown,
Sometimes blazing in fierce scorn
But eyes that are never free
From some glance of witchery.
Tell me why you have such lips
Tempting me to stolen sips
Tender, drooping, luring, sad,
Laughing, mocking, madly glad,
Tell me naughty Nan?

III


Naughty Nan
If you can
Tell me why you play with me,
Take my heart so prettily
In your dainty, slender, hands,
Bruise its tender, loving, bands?
Tell me why your eyes are brown
Mock and glitter when I frown?
Flitting, luring, little, sprite
In a garb of moods bedight,
Dancing here, and dancing there,
Changeling strange, but ever fair
You have caught me in your snare,-
Naughty Nan.



At April
Toss your gay heads,
Brown girl trees;
Toss your gay lovely heads;
Shake your downy russet curls
All about your brown faces;
Stretch your brown slim bodies;
Stretch your brown slim arms;
Stretch your brown slim toes.
Who knows better than we,
With the dark, dark bodies,
What it means
When April comes alaughing and aweeping
Once again
At our hearts?



Grass fingers

Touch me, touch me
Little cool grass fingers,
Elusive, delicate grass fingers.
With your shy brushings,
Touch my face-
My naked arms-
My thighs-
My feet.
Is there nothing that is kind?
You need not fear me.
Soon I shall be too far beneath you,
For you to reach me, even,
With your tiny timorous toes.

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