Ask Me Why I Love You

Ask me why I love you, dear, 
    And I will ask the rose 
Why it loves the dews of Spring 
     At the Winter’s close; 
Why the blossoms’ nectared sweets 
     Loved by questing bee,—
I will gladly answer you, 
     If they answer me. 

Ask me why I love you, dear, 
    And I will ask the flower
Why it loves the Summer sun, 
    Or the Summer shower; 
I will ask the lover’s heart
     Why it loves the moon, 
Or the star-besprinkled skies
     In a night in June. 

Ask me why I love you, dear, 
    I will ask the vine 
Why its tendrils trustingly 
    Round the oak entwine; 
Why you love the mignonette
    Better than the rue,—
If you will but answer me, 
    I will answer you. 

Ask me why I love you, dear, 
    Let the lark reply, 
Why his heart is full of song
   When the twilight’s nigh; 
Why the lover heaves a sigh
    When her heart is true; 
If you will but answer me,
    I will answer you. 

The Drowsy World Dreams On

A flower bloomed out on a woodland hill,
A song rose up from the woodland rill;
But the floweret bloomed but to wither away,
And no man heard what the stream had to say,
  For the drowsy world dreamed on.

Thro the frills of a curtain a moonbeam crept,
Till it fell on the crib where a nursling slept;
And a whisper and smile lit a wee dimpled face,
But none save the angels their beauty could trace,
  For the drowsy world dreamed on.

A wee bird piped out mid the corn,
A rose bloomed out beneath the thorn;
But the scent of the rose and the birdling’s lay
On the winds of the morning were wafted away
  While the drowsy world dreamed on.

And the drowsy old world’s growing gloomy and gray,
While the joys that are sweetest are passing away;
And the charms that inspire like the picture of dawn
Are but playthings of Time—they gleam and are gone,
    While the drowsy world dreams on. 

Related Poems

This Much and More

If my lover were a comet
          Hung in air,
I would braid my leaping body
          In his hair.

Yea, if they buried him ten leagues
          Beneath the loam,
My fingers they would learn to dig
          And I’d plunge home!

I cry your mercy—pity—love!—ay, love

To Fanny.

I cry your mercy—pity—love!—ay, love!
  Merciful love that tantalises not
One-thoughted, never-wandering, guileless love,
  Unmask'd, and being seen—without a blot!
O! let me have thee whole,—all—all—be mine!
  That shape, that fairness, that sweet minor zest
Of love, your kiss,—those hands, those eyes divine,
  That warm, white, lucent, million-pleasured breast,—
Yourself—your soul—in pity give me all,
  Withhold no atom's atom or I die,
Or living on, perhaps, your wretched thrall,
  Forget, in the mist of idle misery,
Life's purposes,—the palate of my mind
Losing its gust, and my ambition blind!

Heart to Heart

It’s neither red
nor sweet.
It doesn’t melt
or turn over,
break or harden,
so it can’t feel
pain,
yearning,
regret.

It doesn’t have 
a tip to spin on,
it isn’t even
shapely—
just a thick clutch
of muscle,
lopsided,
mute. Still,
I feel it inside
its cage sounding
a dull tattoo:
I want, I want—

but I can’t open it:
there’s no key.
I can’t wear it
on my sleeve,
or tell you from
the bottom of it
how I feel. Here,
it’s all yours, now—
but you’ll have
to take me,
too.