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You told me, last night,
In a strange and sudden burst of confidence;
That a New England ancestor of yours,
Had burned witches--
And at last I knew....


Why your eyes are always so grim,
And why your mouth is cut,
In a straight line,
And why you can never see beauty and mirth
In the sweep of the wind over a wheat field,
Or in the sunlight on a baby's hair.
At last I knew
Why you can never see romance
In the long gypsie trail,
Or magic,
In the still purple woods.


I knew why life,
To you,
Was something to be struggled with,
Not a glorious adventure;
And why death was the end of things,
And not the beginning.
And I knew at last,
Why you could never understand,
That tears may cover laughter,
And that laughter may be a veil
For tears.


You told me, last night,
That an ancestor of yours,
Had burned witches,
And, oh, as I sat in the candlelight,
Watching you,
I couldn't help wishing,
That somewhere behind you, in the shadows,
There was another ancestor--
A gay cavalier ancestor--
Who rode hard,
And fought with a sword,
And wore his hat, rakishly,
On the back of his head,
And knew--love.