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Poem by Dora Sigerson Shorter

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 spirits 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

Dora Sigerson Shorter's other poems:
  1. The Kine of My Father
  2. An Imperfect Revolution
  3. Sixteen Dead Men
  4. The Fairy Changeling
  5. You Will Not Come Again

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