Charles Harpur

A Hunter's Indian Dove

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DARK is her cheek, but her blood’s rich blush
Comes through its dusk with a sunset flush,
While joy, like a prairie-bee, slaketh its drouth
At the red honey-cup of her smiling mouth,
And her wild eyes glow, like meteors, there
’Neath the streaming storm of her night-black hair.
And ever I pride in my forest choice,
The more while I list to her bird-like voice,
Warbling old songs in her own wild speech,
But with this new burden still added to each;
“Who’ll pity, who’ll comfort the dark wood-dove
When the white hawk leaves her to die of love?

O then, by the artless tears that rise
’Neath the downcast lids of her gleaming eyes—
By the truthfully tender and touching grace
That boding passion then lends to her face—
I swear, in the very wild spirit of love,
Never to leave her, my Indian dove!

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Charles Harpur