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Poem by Charles Kingsley
A hasty jest I once let fall- As jests are wont to be, untrue- As if the sum of joy to you Were hunt and picnic, rout and ball. Your eyes met mine: I did not blame; You saw it: but I touched too near Some noble nerve; a silent tear Spoke soft reproach, and lofty shame. I do not wish those words unsaid. Unspoilt by praise and pleasure, you In that one look to woman grew, While with a child, I thought, I played. Next to mine own beloved so long! I have not spent my heart in vain. I watched the blade; I see the grain; A woman's soul, most soft, yet strong. Eversley, 1856.
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