River and Sea

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We stood by the river that swept
   In its glory and grandeur away;
But never a pulse o' me leapt,
   And you wondered at me that day.

We stood by the lake as it lay
   With its dimpled face turned to the light;
Was it strange I had nothing to say
   To so fair and enchanting a sight?

I look on your tresses of gold -
   You are fair and a thing to be loved -
Do you think I am heartless and cold
   That I look and am wholly unmoved?

One answer, dear friend, I will make
   To the questions your eyes ask of me:
"Talk not of the river or lake
   To those who have looked on the sea"

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
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