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by Stephen Crane
Love, forgive me if I wish you grief,
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by Stephen Crane
Love, forgive me if I wish you grief,
For in your grief
You huddle to my breast,
And for it
Would I pay the price of your grief.

You walk among men
And all men do not surrender,
And thus I understand
That love reaches his hand
In mercy to me.

He had your picture in his room,
A scurvy traitor picture,
And he smiled
—Merely a fat complacence of men who
   know fine women—
And thus I divided with him
A part of my love.

Fool, not to know that thy little shoe
Can make men weep!
—Some men weep.
I weep and I gnash,
And I love the little shoe,
The little, little shoe.

God give me medals,
God give me loud honors,
That I may strut before you, sweetheart,
And be worthy of—
The love I bear you.

Now let me crunch you
With full weight of affrighted love.
I doubted you
—I doubted you—
And in this short doubting
My love grew like a genie
For my further undoing.

Beware of my friends,
Be not in speech too civil,
For in all courtesy
My weak heart sees spectres,
Mists of desire
Arising from the lips of my chosen;
Be not civil.

The flower I gave thee once
Was incident to a stride,
A detail of a gesture,
But search those pale petals
And see engraven thereon
A record of my intention.

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