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Devoted Friendship

Edith Nesbit

Eyes caught by beauty, fancy by eyes caught;
Sweet possibilities, question, and wonder,
What did her smile say? What has her brain thought?
Her standard, what? Am I o'er it or under?

Flutter in meeting, in absence dreaming;
Tremor in greeting, for meeting scheming;
Caught by the senses, and yet all through
True with the heart of me, sweetheart, to you.

Only the brute in me yields to the pressure
Of longings inherent, of vices acquired;
All this, my darling, is folly, not pleasure,
Only my fancy, not soul, has been fired.

Sense thrills exalted, thrills to love-madness;
Fancy grown sad becomes almost love-sadness;
And yet love has with it nothing to do,
Love is fast fettered, sweetheart, to you.

Lacking fresh fancies, time flags, grows wingless;
Life without folly would fail, fall flat;
But the love that lights life, and makes death's self stingless,
You, and you only, have wakened that.

Sweet are all women, you are the best of them;
You are so dear because dear are the rest of them;
After each fancy has sprung, grown, and died,
Back I come ever, dear, to your side.

The strongest of passions, in joy, seeks the new,
But in grief I turn ever, sweetheart, to you.

Also: The Husband of To-day.

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