To Lallie (Outside the British Museum.)

Amy Levy

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UP those Museum steps you came,
And straightway all my blood was flame,
O Lallie, Lallie !
The world (I had been feeling low)
In one short moment's space did grow
A happy valley.
There was a friend, my friend, with you;
A meagre dame in peacock blue
Apparelled quaintly:
This poet-heart went pit-a-pat;
I bowed and smiled and raised my hat;
You nodded--faintly.
My heart was full as full could be;
You had not got a word for me,
Not one short greeting;
That nonchalant small nod you gave
(The tyrant's motion to the slave)
Sole mark'd our meeting.
Is it so long ? Do you forget
That first and last time that we met?
The time was summer.
The trees were green; the sky was blue;
Our host presented me to you--
A tardy comer.
You look'd demure, but when you spoke
You made a little, funny joke,
Yet half pathetic.
Your gown was grey, I recollect,
I think you patronized the sect
They call "├Žsthetic."
I brought you strawberries and cream,
And plied you long about a stream
With duckweed laden ;
We solemnly discussed the -- heat.
I found you shy and very sweet,
A rosebud maiden.
Ah me, to-day! You passed inside
To where the marble gods abide:
Hermes, Apollo,
Sweet Aphrodite, Pan; and where,
For aye reclined, a headless fair
Beats all fairs hollow.
And I, I went upon my way,
Well -- rather sadder, let us say;
The world looked flatter.
I had been sad enough before,
A little less, a little more,
What does it matter?

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