Their Sweet Sorrow by James Whitcomb Riley

They meet to say farewell: Their way
Of saying this is hard to say.–
He holds her hand an instant, wholly
Distressed–and she unclasps it slowly.

He bends his gaze evasively
Over the printed page that she
Recurs to, with a new-moon shoulder
Glimpsed from the lace-mists that enfold her.

The clock, beneath its crystal cup,
Discreetly clicks–“Quick! Act! Speak up!”
A tension circles both her slender
Wrists–and her raised eyes flash in splendor.

Even as he feels his dazzled own.–
Then, blindingly, round either thrown,
They feel a stress of arms that ever
Strain tremblingly–and “Never! Never!”

Is whispered brokenly, with half
A sob, like a belated laugh,–
While cloyingly their blurred kiss closes,
Sweet as the dew’s lip to the rose’s.

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