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Poem by Edwin Arnold


Alas! alas! and is it sin to love thee as I love,
To hold thee in this heart of mine, all other thoughts above?
What have I done to see thee stand as thou art standing now,
With the calm and studied silence, and the cold, averted brow.

Is it not bitterness enough to know that not for me
That sweet pale face is beautiful, that gentle voice rings free?
Is there not heavy penitence, and store of subtle pain
Waiting the heart that gives its love, and wins no love again?

And thou too art so womanly, and resolute of will;
So eloquent of other's good, so silent of their ill;
Why hast thou not one gentle word, one kind hearteasing smile
For him who loves thee, and hath loved a weary, weary while?

I met thee when my hopes were high, my fancies light and free,
And for thou seemedst worthy love-I lavished love on thee:
That I am sad and hopeless now; all the free fancies gone,
Asks better comfort than a frown, more help than utter scorn.

Still I will love thee to the last; faithful in word and deed,
And hold me ever to the hope that love shall have his meed.
Enough, if thou at last shalt learn how strong true hearts can prove,
And crown the weary days and years with one sweet word of love. 

Edwin Arnold

Edwin Arnold's other poems:
  1. With a Bracelet in the Form of a Snake
  2. The Rhine and The Moselle
  3. The Division of Poland
  4. The Eygptian Princess
  5. The Alchemist

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