Oh, I can smile for you, and tilt my head, And drink your rushing words with eager lips, And paint my mouth for you a fragrant red, And trace your brows with tutored finger-tips. When you rehearse your list of loves to me, Oh, I can laugh and marvel, rapturous-eyed. And you laugh back, nor can you ever see The thousand little deaths my heart has died. And you believe, so well I know my part, That I am gay as morning, light as snow, And all the straining things within my heart You'll never know. Oh, I can laugh and listen, when we meet, And you bring tales of fresh adventurings, -- Of ladies delicately indiscreet, Of lingering hands, and gently whispered things. And you are pleased with me, and strive anew To sing me sagas of your late delights. Thus do you want me -- marveling, gay, and true, Nor do you see my staring eyes of nights. And when, in search of novelty, you stray, Oh, I can kiss you blithely as you go .... And what goes on, my love, while you're away, You'll never know.
This poem is featured in our selection of 100 Great Poems.