Beneath the Shade

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“A Man Sitting Under a Group of Trees” Alfred Parsons, R. A. 1872

A lady crossed my path one day
As I sat alone beneath the saving shade.
The road she walked wound long forgotten,
Yet by myself I tread it fairly often.
She wore a veil of crimson hue;
Her necklace bold and her eyes deep blue.
A violent red forced her lips outright
Her gait was true as her corset tight.
I waved to her and she smiled my way
Then turned to pass away.

She is quiet, she is cold,

She is young, she is old.

Much to my surprise an alluring figure followed;
Yet now her stride begat much sorrow.
The veil she wore was black and hid
the fearful face that council never did.
Her black bodice was silken spun,
Blessed besides the fiery sun.
A small gasp she made at sighting me,
The old man who sat in the shade of the tree.
I dipped my hat and she stared my way
Then hastily passed away.

She is quiet, she is cold,

She is young, she is old.

By now it was time to return to work,
Yet down came the last, trampling o’er the dirt.
Her beauty struck this worker’s eye
As clear as lighting ‘gainst a summer’s sky.
Her flowing tresses held none to compare
With how soft she stepped, how true and fair.
Eyes of verdant green shone forth from within,
And still her walk was frail with sin.
I gazed at her as she danced to me now
And coolly kissed the skin atop my brow.
My heart was torn in two that day
As she silently slipped away.

She is quiet, she is cold

She is young, she is old.

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