Poems (Coates 1916)/Volume I/Betrothal
BOTH your hands? . . . What mean they, dear?
I, unworthy,—dare I claim you?
Then, against the world, I hold you:
Men have waked from dreams of joy:
Teach me to believe this rapture!
Lift your eyes! O my beloved,
Let me read your heart!
Is it true? . . . Ah, me! those eyes!
How divinely kind!—how tender!
Doubt itself could not distrust them,
Or resist their light!
Dear, without you, I have been
Poorer than the humblest beggar
Who against your door at nightfall
Kneeling, asked for bread:
I have gazed upon your face
And have felt such fear oppress me
That I trembled. From this moment,
Nothing fear I more!
For whatever perils come,
Nothing henceforth can divide us;
Neither follies nor ambitions—
Neither joys nor tears:
Never can you go so far
That my love shall fail to find you;
Seeking ever to deserve you,
Upward striving still;
And though seas should lie between,
I shall feel that you are near me:
In the twilight and night-season
I shall hear your voice.