SWEETHEART

Sweetheart, sweeter than all other,
(And I have had many another,)
          Come here, please.
Come and sit you down beside me;
Chat or gossip, praise or chide me,
          Scold or tease.
Only talk, so I can listen;
Let me see those dear eyes glisten;
          Let me gaze
On that sweet face, like a flower,
That shall hold me with its power
          All my days.

I have wooed, as men do often;
Scores of eyes have I made soften.
          But, my dove--
Never any breathing woman--
Never any creature human
          Won my love;
Won, and kept it still increasing,
Never lessening or ceasing
          As you do.
Never was my heart love-laden,
Though I've smiled on many a maiden,
          Save for you.

I'd a love for every season.
Loved for this and for that reason--
          Fancy's laws;
Many a maid I've loved for pleasure;
You I love the fullest measure,
          Just--because.
Maids took pains to always please me;
You, although you plague and tease me,
          I adore.
Those I loved, to keep in fashion;
You I give by heart's best passion,
          Evermore.

Foolish maid, is she refusing
Since she's not a heart's first choosing?
          For I hold
He who roams the wide world over
Makes at last the truest lover,
          Good as gold.
All the gems of earth comparing,
When he takes one for his wearing.
          His to be,
He knows how to guard his treasure;
Sweet, my latest, dearest pleasure,
          Come to me.

Maurine by Ella Wheeler
Milwaukee: Cramer, Aikens & Cramer, 1876.


Back to Poem Index