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"Believe a sailor rough who say?,
   In his rough way, I love you, friend;
I'll love you truly all my days
                        In gratitude for love."

He turn'd away, and darted out,
   Out in the balmy night of June;
And presently we heard a shout,
                        A loving cheer, "Hurrah!"


NEXT morning Walter went to him.
   And took him out a rambling walk;
A walk among the birch-trees slim,
                        The slender trees we love.

The silver-stemmed birch-trees green,
   That cluster in our hill-side wood;
With pendent branches, boles of sheen,
                        The graceful trees we love.

And soon the sailor, " Hateful Harry,"
   Came in and out, just as he pleased;
A moment only, or he'd tarry,
                        Like one at home and loved.

And Walter loved him, and I grew
   To tolerate him for his sake;
And then, I think, I loved him, too,
                        Because my husband loved.

Though still I called him by his name
   Of " Hateful Hal;" in part because
He liked to have it still the same,
                        For mockery of love;

In part because our Annie used
   It always, with an emphasis
And energy, that oft I mused
                        How she, so full of love

For all beside, could have for one
   A hate so strong.— Well, time went on:
The summer season past and gone
                        The season of ripe love

In fruit and flower, leaf and tree,—
   One day that Hateful Hal declared
He must be off again to sea,
                        And leave the friends he loved.

I saw him give a sharp quick look
   At Annie as he spoke the words;
But she was buried in her book,
                        Some tale of antique love.

That look of his, in one swift flash
   Reveal'd to me his secret heart;
I saw 'twas Annie's self this rash
                        Young sailor deeply loved.

He said there was one whom he could
   Have loved, but that she hated him;
I saw now who it was; but would
                        She e'er change hate for love?

"Impossible!" I thought, as soft
   I crept away; and, since, I've learn'd
What pass'd while I revolved oft
                        The fate of Harry's love.

He drew more near to where she sat
   Absorb'd in reading, as it seem'd,
And then abruptly said, " What's that
                        You're studying of love?"

"You Hateful Hal!" retorted she,
   Yet with a little break of voice,
"Why come you thus disturbing me
                        In story of true love?"

"Ay, ' Hateful Hal!' " he said, and turn'd
   His face away; " that same old name!
You've always haled me; I learn'd
                        That long ago from love."

"From love!" she echoed, "surely, never!"
   "From love," he said, vehemently,
"From love in boyhood, manhood, ever;
                        From love that taught me fear.

"I fear'd your bright blue laughing eyes,
   I fear'd your roguish smiling mouth;
I fear'd you did too sure despise
                        My boyish ardent love.

"I took to hiding it in rough
   Rude ways, that made you hate yet more
A lad so peremptory, bluff,
                        A lad you couldn't love.

"And still you hate, I see it clear;
   You hate me worse than you did then;
Rough ' Hateful Hal,' who loves you dear,
                        With all his strength of love.

"Well, be it so; I'm going away,
   To bear it bravely if I can;
But, Annie, to my dying day
                        My love is yours for hate.

"For hate I give you love in turn:
   Say ' Hateful Hal,' then, once again;
That name still somehow makes me burn,—
                        'Twas given by her I love.

"From your dear lips it has a charm,
   It thrills me strangely through and through,
It sounds as if it meant no harm,
                        And still increased my love."

"I thought your roughness was dislike;
   How could I fancy it aught else?
It seem'd so very, very like;
                        I couldn't think it love."

Her voice was low as she said this;
   And then she tried to rally it;
"Well, 'Hateful Hal,' sir, there it is,
                        Since that's the name you love."

"You hated when you gave it roe,
   You hate me now, you'll hate me ever;
Is it not so? Or can it be,—
                        Oh, can it be, that love——"

He stopp'd, breath'd short, then hurried on;
   " Dear Annie, speak,— do let me hear
Your voice, if but one word, but one,
                        Forbids me not to love."

He look'd at her with searching eyes,
   As if he'd read her very soul,
Her soul of truth without disguise,
                        Her soul of inward love.

Beneath his eyes her eyes did sink;
   In tones half arch, half sweet, she said,
"I almost now begin to think
                        Perhaps my hate was love."