IN softer sound than Saxon speech,

Though in a language strange to me,

I seek a name, enough unknown

To have a meaning all my own,

And call her slowly, tenderly,

Senorita mia.

Not of New England is the charm,

Yet found within her closest shrine.

With English words I call her dear,

"My darling;" but I stammer here,

Worship to softness half divine,

Senorita mia.

The sweetest songs of English make

From ancient years of courtesy

And more, unwritten, new as spring,

Are in her presence hovering.

Yet I still murmur helplessly,

Senorita mia.

Come, fairy dress, enrich my verse,

Black, graceful; black, a woman's hue,

Her sanctum. Through the flowery shade

Of gauze the soft skin sunlight made;

Last gleamed a locket of pale blue,

Senorita mia.

The neck held lovingly by lace

Bends with a winning curve; two white

And slender-wristed hands entwine;

Thence to the floor the noble line

Of black betrays the perfect height,

Senorita mia.

Pure lack of wit it is to love

Such rapt, unconscious, graceful sprites,

All quivering with social fire.

Love is unsatisfied desire,

Unsocial, sad in its delights,

Senorita mia.

But since the folly holds me fast,

I hide it quickly from her sight,

Or state it calmly; it may be

Its sadness may strike pleasantly

Across ambrosial delight,

Senorita mia.