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Poem by Alice Dunbar-Nelson

At Bay St. Louis

SOFT breezes blow and swiftly show
   Through fragrant orange branches parted,
A maiden fair, with sun-flecked hair,
   Caressed by arrows, golden darted.
The vine-clad tree holds forth to me
   A promise sweet of purple blooms,
And chirping bird, scarce seen but heard
   Sings dreamily, and sweetly croons
       At Bay St. Louis.

The hammock swinging, idly singing,
   Lissome nut-brown maid
   Swings gaily, freely, to-and-fro;
The curling, green-white waters casting cool, clear shade,
   Rock small, shell boats that go
In circles wide, or tug at anchor's chain,
As though to skim the sea with cargo vain,
       At Bay St. Louis.

   The maid swings slower, slower to-and-fro,
And sunbeams kiss gray, dreamy half-closed eyes;
   Fond lover creeping on with foot steps slow,
Gives gentle kiss, and smiles at sweet surprise.

           *     *     *     *     *

   The lengthening shadows tell that eve is nigh,
   And fragrant zephyrs cool and calmer grow,
Yet still the lover lingers, and scarce breathed sigh,
   Bids the swift hours to pause, nor go,
       At Bay St. Louis. 

Alice Dunbar-Nelson

Alice Dunbar-Nelson's other poems:
  1. Impressions
  2. Amid the Roses
  3. Paul to Virginia
  4. Chalmetle
  5. Three Thoughts

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