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Dora Sigerson Shorter (Дора Сигерсон Шортер)


What Will You Give?


What will you give me, if I will wed?
   “A golden gown
   To come sweetly down,
And deck you from foot to head.”

How will you keep me, if I am cold?
   “By a heart so warm,
   The bravest storm
Dare not force through my strong hands’ hold.”

How will you please me, if I should thirst?
   “Why by the rape
   Of the purple grape,
Which the summer and sun have nursed.”

If I should hunger what may I eat?
   “For you the skies
   The falcon flies,
And the hounds on the stag are fleet.”

How can you comfort when fair youth dies,
   When the spirit’s fain
   For a purer gain,
Than the satisfied flesh supplies?

“But this I promise, when starved and cold
   A lonely soul
   Finds for its goal
A six-foot bed and churchyard mould.”



Dora Sigerson Shorter's other poems:
  1. I Prayed So Eagerly
  2. My Neighbour’s Garden
  3. For Ever
  4. The Blow Returned
  5. The Wreckage


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