by Alfred Austin
Though all the world should stand aside,
And leave you to your sorrow,
And you from none, or near, or wide,
A smile or tear could borrow;
I still would stand with arms outspread,
In love and trust unshaken,
To make a nest for that dear head,
By all the rest forsaken.
Come, let me crouch beside your knees,
And we will talk together-
You who have passed o'er stormy seas,
And I through tranquil weather.
What is to me the shallow scoff
Of pert or pious sneerer?
Let the base crowd move further off,
I only creep the nearer.
Sweet child! 'tis not your deep blue eyes,
Nor yet your raven tresses,
Nor that strange mystic look, more wise
Than all your mouth expresses:
'Tis not your face, 'tis not your form,
Your accents bright and clever,
Which bind me with a strength enorm,
And make me yours for ever.
And yet, and yet, 'tis all of these,
But oh! 'tis something rarer,
Makes every pleasing grace more please,
And each fair charm the fairer.
It is because your soul is high,
If your affections lowly,
That I prostrate myself and sigh
Before a shrine too holy.
And if fell clouds quenched girlhood's beam,
And cast their shadow o'er it,
Your lustre now doth brighter seem
For those dark days before it.
Like those fair lamps that change by night
Their radiance with their motion-
Burn low, then fling a flood of light
Athwart the murky ocean.
Last updated January 14, 2019