If

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Dear love, if you and I could sail away,
With snowy pennons to the wind unfurled,
Across the waters of some unknown bay,
And find some island far from all the world;

If we could dwell there, ever more alone,
While unrecorded years slip by apace,
Forgetting and forgotten and unknown
By aught save native song-birds of the place;

If Winter never visited that land,
And Summer's lap spilled o'er with fruits and flowers,
And tropic trees cast shade on every hand,
And twinèd boughs formed sleep-inviting bowers;

If from the fashions of the world set free,
And hid away from all its jealous strife,
I lived alone for you, and you for me--
Ah! then, dear love, how sweet were wedded life.

But since we dwell here in the crowded way,
Where hurrying throungs rush by to seek for gold,
And all is common-place and work-a-day,
As soon as love's young honeymoon grows old:

Since fashion rules and nature yields to art,
And life is hurt by daily jar and fret,
'T is best to shut such dreams down in the heart
And go our ways alone, love, and forget.

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