Dear Jane! dear winsome Jane!
How you stole in the room (where I lay so ill)
In your nurse’s cap and linen cuffs,
And took my hand and said with a smile:
“You are not so ill — you’ll soon be well.”
And how the liquid thought of your eyes
Sank in my eyes like dew that slips
Into the heart of a flower.
Dear Jane! the whole McNeely fortune
Could not have bought your care of me,
By day and night, and night and day;
Nor paid for your smile, nor the warmth of your soul,
In your little hands laid on my brow.
Jane, till the flame of life went out
In the dark above the disk of night
I longed and hoped to be well again
To pillow my head on your little breasts,
And hold you fast in a clasp of love —
Did my father provide for you when he died,
Jane, dear Jane?

Analysis, meaning and summary of Edgar Lee Masters's poem Paul McNeely

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