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    Gretna Green

    by Edith Nesbit
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    Last night when I kissed you,
    My soul caught alight;
    And oh! how I missed you
    The rest of the night -
    Till Love in derision
    Smote sleep with his wings,
    And gave me in vision
    Impossible things.

    A night that was clouded,
    Long windows asleep;
    Dark avenues crowded
    With secrets to keep.
    A terrace, a lover,
    A foot on the stair;
    The waiting was over,
    The lady was there.

    What a flight, what a night!
    The hoofs splashed and pounded.
    Dark fainted in light
    And the first bird-notes sounded.
    You slept on my shoulder,
    Shy night hid your face;
    But dawn, bolder, colder,
    Beheld our embrace.

    Your lips of vermilion,
    Your ravishing shape,
    The flogging postillion,
    The village agape,
    The rattle and thunder
    Of postchaise a-speed . . .
    My woman, my wonder,
    My ultimate need!

    We two matched for mating
    Came, handclasped, at last,
    Where the blacksmith was waiting
    To fetter us fast . . .
    At the touch of the fetter
    The dream snapped and fell -
    And I woke to your letter
    That bade me farewell.
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