Monday, May 28, 2012

Caroline by James Russell Lowell

Konrad Kiessel painting
by James Russell Lowell

A staidness sobers o'er her pretty face,
Which something but ill-hidden in her eyes,
And a quaint look about her lips denies;
A lingering love of girlhood you can trace
In her checked laugh and half-restrained pace;
And, when she bears herself most womanly,
It seems as if a watchful mother's eye
Kept down with sobering glance her childish grace:
Yet oftentimes her nature gushes free
As water long held back by little hands,
Within a pump, and let forth suddenly,
Until, her task remembering, she stands
A moment silent, smiling doubtfully,
Then laughs aloud and scorns her hated bands.

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