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Protest: By Zahir-u-Din

   Second Song

   How much I loved that way you had
   Of smiling most, when very sad,
   A smile which carried tender hints
       Of delicate tints
       And warbling birds,
       Of sun and spring,
   And yet, more than all other thing,
   Of Weariness beyond all Words!

   None other ever smiled that way,
       None that I know,—
   The essence of all Gaiety lay,
   Of all mad mirth that men may know,
   In that sad smile, serene and slow,
   That on your lips was wont to play.

   It needed many delicate lines
   And subtle curves and roseate tints
   To make that weary radiant smile;
   It flickered, as beneath the vines
   The sunshine through green shadow glints
   On the pale path that lies below,
   Flickered and flashed, and died away,
   But the strange thoughts it woke meanwhile
       Were wont to stay.

   Thoughts of Strange Things you used to know
   In dim, dead lives, lived long ago,
   Some madly mirthful Merriment
   Whose lingering light is yet unspent,—
   Some unimaginable Woe,—
   Your strange, sad smile forgets these not,
   Though you, yourself, long since, forgot!

Poem by Adela Florence Cory Nicolson
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