Kate

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Kate  (1833) 
by Alfred Tennyson
Written in 1833



I know her by her angry air,
Her bright black eyes, her bright black hair,
Her rapid laughters wild and shrill,
As laughters of the woodpecker
From the bosom of a hill.
’Tis Kate-she sayeth what she will;
For Kate hath an unbridled tongue,
Clear as the twanging of a harp.
Her heart is like a throbbing star.
Kate hath a spirit ever strung
Like a new bow, and bright and sharp
As edges of the scimitar.
Whence shall she take a fitting mate?
For Kate no common love will feel;
My woman-soldier, gallant Kate,
As pure and true as blades of steel.

Kate saith ‘the world is void of might.’
Kate saith ‘the men are gilded flies.’
Kate snaps her fingers at my vows;
Kate will not hear of lovers’ sighs.
I would I were an armed knight,
Far-famed for well-won enterprise,
And wearing on my swarthy brows
The garland of new-wreathed emprise;
For in a moment I would pierce
The blackest files of clanging fight,
And strongly strike to left and right,
In dreaming of my lady’s eyes.
O, Kate loves well the bold and fierce;
But none are bold enough for Kate,
She cannot find a fitting mate.

This work was published before January 1, 1923, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.