The Wife-Blessed.

A poem by James Whitcomb Riley

I.

In youth he wrought, with eyes ablur,
Lorn-faced and long of hair -
In youth - in youth he painted her
A sister of the air -
Could clasp her not, but felt the stir
Of pinions everywhere.


II.

She lured his gaze, in braver days,
And tranced him sirenwise;
And he did paint her, through a haze
Of sullen paradise,
With scars of kisses on her face
And embers in her eyes.


III.

And now - nor dream nor wild conceit -
Though faltering, as before -
Through tears he paints her, as is meet,
Tracing the dear face o'er
With lilied patience meek and sweet
As Mother Mary wore.

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