by Stephen Crane
Love, forgive me if I wish you grief, For in your grief You huddle to my breast, And for it Would I pay the price of your grief. You walk among men And all men do not surrender, And thus I understand That love reaches his hand In mercy to me. He had your picture in his room, A scurvy traitor picture, And he smiled —Merely a fat complacence of men who know fine women— And thus I divided with him A part of my love. Fool, not to know that thy little shoe Can make men weep! —Some men weep. I weep and I gnash, And I love the little shoe, The little, little shoe. God give me medals, God give me loud honors, That I may strut before you, sweetheart, And be worthy of— The love I bear you. Now let me crunch you With full weight of affrighted love. I doubted you —I doubted you— And in this short doubting My love grew like a genie For my further undoing. Beware of my friends, Be not in speech too civil, For in all courtesy My weak heart sees spectres, Mists of desire Arising from the lips of my chosen; Be not civil. The flower I gave thee once Was incident to a stride, A detail of a gesture, But search those pale petals And see engraven thereon A record of my intention.