Friend, whose smile has come to be
Very precious unto me,
Though I know I drank not first
Of your love’s bright fountain-burst,
Yet I grieve not for the past,
So you only love me last!
Other souls may find their joy
In the blind love of a boy:
Give me that which years have tried,
Disciplined and purified,—
Such as, braving sun and blast,
You will bring to me at last!
There are brows more fair than mine,
Eyes of more bewitching shine,
Other hearts more fit, in truth,
For the passion of your youth;
But, their transient empire past,
You will surely love me last!
Wing away your summer-time,
Find a love in every clime,
Roam in liberty and light,—
I shall never stay your flight;
For I know, when all is past
You will come to me at last!
Change and flutter as you will,
I shall smile securely still;
Patiently I trust and wait
Though you tarry long and late;
Prize your spring till it be past,
Only, only love me last!
Elizabeth Chase Allen, 1832–1911