To Helen in a Huff

Nathaniel Parker Willis

NAY, lady, one frown is enough
    In a life as soon over as this—
And though minutes seem long in a huff,
    They’re minutes ’tis pity to miss!
The smiles you imprison so lightly
    Are reckon’d, like days in eclipse;
And though you may smile again brightly,
    You’ve lost so much light from your lips!
                 Pray, lady, smile!

The cup that is longest untasted
    May be with our bliss running o’er,
And, love when we will, we have wasted
    An age in not loving before!
Perchance Cupid’s forging a fetter
    To tie us together some day,
And, just for the chance, we had better
    Be laying up love, I should say!
                 Nay, lady, smile!

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