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A Rejected Lover

Dinah Maria Mulock Craik

You "never loved me," Ada. These slow words
Dropped softly from your gentle woman-tongue
Out of your true and kindly woman-heart,
Fell, piercing into mine like very swords
The sharper for their kindness. Yet no wrong
Lies to your charge, nor cruelty, nor art,
Ev'n when you spoke, I saw the tender tear-drop start.

You "never loved me." No, you never knew,
You, with youth's morning fresh upon your soul,
What 't is to love: slow, drop by drop, to pour
Our life's whole essence, perfumed through and through
With all the best we have or can control
For the libation, cast it down before
Your feet, then lift the goblet, dry for evermore.

I shall not die as foolish lovers do:
A man's heart beats beneath thid breast of mine,
The breast where, Curse on that fiend-whispering
"It might have been!" Ada, I will be true
Unto myself, the self that so loved thine:
May all life's pain, like these few tears that spring
For me, glance off as rain-drops from my white dove's wing!

May you live long, some good man's bosom flower,
And gather chldren round your matron knees:
So, when all this is past, and you and I
Remember each our youth-days as an hour
Of joy, or anguish, one, serene, at ease,
May come to meet the other's steadfast eye,
Thinking, "He loved me well!" clasp hands, and so pass by.

Home :: Poetry :: Love (2) :: A Rejected Lover

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