BETA

Gifts.

A man and a woman sit together in an agricultural field. They are surrounded by hay bales. The woman wears a long dress that drapes around her feet. Her hands are folded in her lap. The man looks at the woman and holds a floral crown above the her head. A rake lies on the ground in front of the figures, and a hay fork leans against a hay bale to their right. A small dog sleeps near the rake. 1/2-page illustration contained within a single-ruled border.

I.

I gave my love a bracelet on her natal day—1
The light was dancing on the lea2
Its sparkling gems shook lustre when ’twas worn,3
From beds of filagree ;4
And seem՚d to laugh and speak, upon her arm,5
Like children on their pillows white and warm.6
This for thy hand,” I said ; “ soon mine”—7
With that she ’gan the amulet untwine ;8
And cried, “ Thou buyest me, like a slave !” —9
Then stopping, red, a look of love she gave.10

II.

In the sweet haying-time, I made a crown of flowers—11
The light was dancing on the lea12
I stole bright blossoms from the butterfly13
And honey-seeking bee.14
Holding my wreath above her shining head,15
Soon thou are mine ;— why art thou sad ?” I said.16
The Past was happy,” she replied ;17
The Future is a dangerous path, untried ;” —18
Then leant her brow upon my breast,19
And if she fear’d, soon charm’d her fear to rest.20

III.

Next morn, when village bells were pealing forth
our joy—
21
The light was dancing on the lea22
We fled the rustic mirth of happy friends,23
For happier secrecy ;24
And neath the shadows of a summer wood25
We sipped the cup of Earth’s beatitude.26
This ring is all my gift to-day.”27
She, sitting closer, whispered, “ Nay, love,
may,”
28
Thou givest thyself—a gift divine.29
This day I feel thy heart, thought, life, are
mine !”
30