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A Daughter of the South

From the Rock Island Argus, June 11, 1914. By Henry Howland.

It was early in July, when the fleecy clouds were high,
    And the sea was very calm and very blue,
That I met a maiden fair walking under branches where
    The leaves let little streaks of sunlight through.

A rosebud on her breast seemed to try to do its best
    To rival the rich beauty of her mouth;
By the glory of her face and her manner and her grace
    I knew her for a daughter of the South.

Ah, how beautiful she was! Dressed in cool and clinging gauze,
    She might have been an airy fairy queen;
As I gladly watched the maid coming, tripping through the glade
    I forgot that middle age should be serene.

I gave my belt a hitch and threw back my shoulders which
    I had suffered to droop somewhat carelessly;
With a youthful, springy stride I approached her and I tried
    To forget that I was not as young as she.

It was early in July when she met me with a sigh,
    And exclaimed, “Please take me home, I’ve lost my way;
You’re a nice old man and so I may trust in you, I know.”
    Oh, I wish I’d never met her there that day.

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