Every morning, as I walk down
From my dreary lodgings, toward the town,
I see at the window near the street,
The face of a woman, fair and sweet,
With soft brown eyes, and chestnut hair,
And red lips, warm with the kiss left there.
And she lingers as long as she can see
The man who walks, just ahead of me.
At night, when I come from my office, down town,
There stands the woman, with eyes of brown,
Smiling out through the window-blind,
At the man who comes strolling on behind.
This fellow and I resemble each other;
At least, so I'm told, by one and another.
(But I think I'm the handsomer, far, of the two.)
I don't know him at all, save to "how d'ye do,"
Or nod when I meet him. I think he's at work
In a dry-goods store, as a salaried clerk.
And I am a lawyer, of high renown;
Have a snug bank account, and an office down town.
Yet I feel for that fellow an envious spite:
(It has no other name, so I speak it outright.)
There were symptoms before: but it's grown, I believe,
Alarmingly fast, since one cloudy eve,
When passing the little house, close by the street,
I heard the patter of two tiny feet,
And a figure in pink, fluttered down to the gate,
And a sweet voice exclaimed, "Oh, Will, you are late
And, darling, I've watched at the window until--
Sir, I beg pardon! I thought it was Will."
I passed on my way, with an odd little smart
Beneath my vest pocket, in what's called the heart.
For, as it happens, my name, too, is Will;
And that voice crying "darling," sent such an strange thrill
Throughout my whole being. "How nice it would be,"
Thought I, "if it were in reality me
That she's watched and longed for, instead of that lout."
(It was envy made me use that word, no doubt,
For he's a fine fellow, and handsome, ahem!)
But then it's absurd that this rare little gem
Of a woman, should be on the look-out for him,
Till she brings on a headache, and makes her eyes dim,
While I go to lodgings, dull, dreary, and bare,
With no one to welcome me, no one to care
If I'm early, or late--no soft eyes of brown
To watch when I go to, or come from, the town.
This bleak, wretched bachelor life, is about,
If I may be allowed the expression--played out.
Somewhere there must be, in the wide world, I think,
Another fair woman, who dresses in pink.
And I know of a cottage for sale just below,
And it has a French window, in front, and--heigho
I wonder how long, at the longest, 'twill be,
Before coming home from the office I'll see
A nice little woman there, watching for me.
Shells by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Milwaukee: Hauser & Storey, 1873.
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