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Compensation

Edith Nesbit

Lady, I see you every day,
More than your other lovers do;
I sit beside you at the Play,
And in the Park I ride with you.

Through picture shows with you I roam
With you I shop and dance and dine;
I know the hours when you're "at home"
To no one else's knock but mine.

And yet so near and yet so far,
I scarce dare look at you, for fear
I should remark, "How sweet you are,
How charming, and how very dear!"

I dare not touch that hand of yours,
Or lend my voice a tender tone;
I know my state of grace endures
By fasting and by prayer alone.

But, in my lonely dreamlit nights,
I kiss your hands, your lips, your eyes;
For absence grants me all the rights
Your presence evermore denies.

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