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Passion Past

Dinah Maria Mulock Craik

Were I a boy, with a boy's heart-beat
At glimpse of her passing adown the street,
Of a room where she had entered and gone,
Or a page her hand had written on,
Would all be with me as it was before?
O no, never! no, no, never!
Never any more.

Were I a man, with a man's pulse-throb,
Breath hard and fierce, held down like a sob,
Dumb, yet hearing her lightest word,
Blind, until only her garment stirred:
Would I pour my life like wine on her floor?
No, no, never: never, never!
Never any more.

Gray and withered, wrinkled and marred,
I have gone through the fire and come out unscarred,
With the image of manhood upon me yet,
No shame to remember, no wish to forget:
But could she rekindle the pangs I bore?
O no, never! thank God, never!
Never any more.

Old and wrinkled, withered and gray,
And yet if her light step passed to-day,
I should see her face all faces among,
And say, "Heaven love thee, whom I loved long!
Thou hast lost the key of my heart's door,
Lost it ever, and forever,
Ay, forevermore."

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