Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
334. The Wife
By Anna Peyre Dinnies
I COULD have stemmed misfortune’s tide,
  And borne the rich one’s sneer,—
Have braved the haughty glance of pride,
  Nor shed a single tear;
I could have smiled on every blow        5
  From life’s full quiver thrown,
While I might gaze on thee, and know
  I should not be alone.
I could—I think I could—have brooked,
  E’en for a time, that thou        10
Upon my fading face hadst looked
  With less of love than now;
For then I should at least have felt
  The sweet hope still my own
To win thee back, and whilst I dwelt        15
  On earth, not been alone.
But thus to see from day to day
  Thy brightening eye and cheek,
And watch thy life-sands waste away,
  Unnumbered, slow, and meek;        20
To meet thy smiles of tenderness,
  And catch the feeble tone
Of kindness, ever breathed to bless,
  And feel I ’ll be alone;
To mark thy strength each hour decay,        25
  And yet thy hopes grow stronger,
As, filled with heavenward trust, they say
  Earth may not claim thee longer;
Nay, dearest, ’t is too much—this heart
  Must break when thou art gone:        30
It must not be; we must not part;
  I could not live alone.


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