Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895
Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895.  1895.
Love’s Spite
Aubrey Thomas De Vere (b. 1814)
YOU take a town you cannot keep;
  And, forced in turn to fly,
O’er ruins you have made shall leap
  Your deadliest enemy!
Her love is yours—and be it so—        5
But can you keep it? No, no, no!
Upon her brow we gaz’d with awe,
  And lov’d, and wish’d to love, in vain;
But when the snow begins to thaw
  We shun with scorn the miry plain.        10
Women with grace may yield: but she
Appear’d some Virgin Deity.
Bright was her soul as Dian’s crest
  Whitening on Vesta’s fane its sheen:
Cold look’d she as the waveless breast        15
  Of some stone Dian at thirteen.
Men lov’d: but hope they deem’d to be
A sweet Impossibility!


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