An Episode

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by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Along the narrow Moorish street
   A blue-eyed soldier strode.
      (Ah, well-a-day)
Veiled from her lashes to her feet
   She stepped from her abode,
      (Ah, lack-a-day).

Now love may guard a favoured wife
   Who leaves the harem door;
      (Ah, well-a-day)
But hungry hearted is her life
   When she is one of four.
      (Ah, lack-a-day.)

If black eyes glow with sudden fire
   And meet warm eyes of blue -
      (Ah, well-a-day).
The old, old story of desire
   Repeats itself anew.
      (Ah, lack-a-day.)

When bugles blow the soldier flies -
   Though bitter tears may fall
      (Ah, lack-a-day).
A Moorish child with blue, blue eyes
   Plays in the harem hall.
      (Ah, well-a-day.)

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