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by [?]

Well, I’ve met her again–at the Mission.
She’d told me to see her no more;
It was not a command–a petition;
I’d granted it once before.

Yes, granted it, hoping she’d write me.
Repenting her virtuous freak–
Subdued myself daily and nightly
For the better part of a week.

And then (’twas my duty to spare her
The shame of recalling me) I
Just sought her again to prepare her
For an everlasting good-bye.

O, that evening of bliss–shall I ever
Forget it?–with Shakespeare and Poe!
She said, when ’twas ended: “You’re never
To see me again. And now go.”

As we parted with kisses ’twas human
And natural for me to smile
As I thought, “She’s in love, and a woman:
She’ll send for me after a while.”

But she didn’t; and so–well, the Mission
Is fine, picturesque and gray;
It’s an excellent place for contrition–
And sometimes she passes that way.

That’s how it occurred that I met her,
And that’s ah there is to tell–
Except that I’d like to forget her
Calm way of remarking: “I’m well.”

It was hardly worth while, all this keying
My soul to such tensions and stirs
To learn that her food was agreeing
With that little stomach of hers.