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Alice Dunbar-Nelson

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by this poet

I had no thought of violets of late,	
The wild, shy kind that spring beneath your feet	
In wistful April days, when lovers mate	
And wander through the fields in raptures sweet.	
The thought of violets meant florists' shops,	
And bows and pins, and perfumed papers fine;	
And garish lights, and mincing little

Orange gleams athwart a crimson soul
Lambent flames; purple passion lurks
In your dusk eyes.
Red mouth; flower soft,
Your soul leaps up—and flashes
Star-like, white, flame-hot.
Curving arms, encircling a world of love,
You! Stirring the depths of passionate desire!

I sit and sew—a useless task it seems,
My hands grown tired, my head weighed down with dreams—
The panoply of war, the martial tred of men,
Grim-faced, stern-eyed, gazing beyond the ken
Of lesser souls, whose eyes have not seen Death
Nor learned to hold their lives but as a breath—
But—I must sit and sew.

I sit