Lilly-White Hand.

A poem by John Hartley

Place thy lilly-white hand in mine,
Maid with the wealth of golden hair; -
Tresses, that gleaming like gold, entwine,
Round about a sweet face so fair.

Sweetheart, oh! whisper once more the words,
That came from those coral lips of thine,
And bound thee to me by those silken cords, -
And place thy lilly-white hand in mine,

Place thy lilly-white hand in mine,
That its gentle pressure may tell my heart
That the idol round which I had reared a shrine,
Is mine, - mine, - never from me to part.

Sweetest and fairest of woman kind!
Gentlest, kindest, lovingest, best, -
Virtues with beauties are so combined,
That manhood pays homage at love's behest.

Place thy lilly-white hand in mine,
Let its velvet touch on my horny palm,
Comfort, encourage, embolden, refine, -
This grosser clay, by its subtle charm.

Long as life lasts let me clasp thy hand,
As a pledge of our oneness, existing now;
And when I depart for the better land,
Let it rest for a while on my death-cold brow.

Falsehood, treachery, sickness, pain, -
I have endured, yet hopefully stand
Strong in the thought I have lived not in vain.
Had I won but this treasure, - this lilly-white hand.

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