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Your eyes are wide, and darkly green,
Liquidly lustrous like the sheen
Of star-glint on a tree-fringed pool,
Cool, as fire in ice is cool!
But in their depths a something crouches,
As a paw-fast panther couches;
A prisoned thing that strains and strains,
But never an inch of freedom gains.
And sometimes when the lights are low,
And stealthy shadows come and go,
I gaze between the prisoning lashes:
The thing leaps up, and a vision flashes—
Cliffs of red and a forest dank;
A trail that crawls up the river bank;
On the trail a twisted thing lies stark
And cringes in the gathering dark,
While at its throat a lithe shape crouches,
As a paw-fast panther couches!
Eyes green as the sea of a sun-drenched day—
"Stop, woman! Take your lips away!"