Poems (1898)/A Maid's Defense

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For other versions of this work, see A Maid's Defence.


'T were little to renounce what now I hold,
Such riches as make poor: a pomp that tires,
A vernal glow that kindles autumn fires,
A youth that, wasteful in its haste, grows old;
'T were little to relinquish pleasure doled
In meagre measure to my swift desires,
To give what nor delights me nor inspires,
In free exchange for Love's all-prizèd gold;
Yet there is something it were pain to yield,
Which I should part with, Love, in welcoming thee:
A shy uncertainty that dearer seems
Than e'en thy gifts, and is my fence and shield:
The dim ideal of my waking dreams,
The Love unknown, that distant, beckons me!