Poetry of Kansas

To . . .

Old codes of honor somehow hold the will,
Old codes drawn up by greybeards at the start.
Born old and cold they never could have known
The stinging sweet of heart on beating heart.
They could not thrill to lips on seeking lips
Nor understand Elaine and Juliet--
Despotic judges with no right to judge!--
But their old musty rulings bind us yet.
Your eyes so long indifferent to me
One day were kindled with a steady fire
That melted years of ice about my heart
And freed the crimson roses of desire.
Then flashed to mind the fear of that harsh law
That sacrificed Elaine and Juliet;
It stayed my ardent lips, my eager arms
Do you remember? I cannot forget.

Kansas Poets
Edited by May William Ward
(New York: Henry Harrison. 1935)
Page 205

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May 3, 2005 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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