Protest: By Zahir-u-Din
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!
Adela Florence Cory Nicolson
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