Assuredly, she's never said a word
In anybody's hearing but her own;
Perhaps she spoke to chide a moonless night,
Perhaps remonstrance to her looking glass;
Or loving coos to calm a hummingbird
That flitted by, wings sparkling in the sun --
But never in another person's sight
Permit those lips the softest word to pass.
If voices can be wrecked from too much song,
How sweet those virgin breaths will sound unstopped
And honeyed to those ears on which they fall,
However harsh a tone those strains adopt:
And nothing but my love would meet her gall
If, having heard her, I should answer wrong.