Verse > Anthologies > Alfred H. Miles, ed. > Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century
Alfred H. Miles, ed.  Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century.  1907.
III. Daria
By Dora Greenwell (1821–1882)
          In Calderon’s drama, Los Dos Amantes del Cielo, Daria, a beautiful Roman girl, eventually a Christian convert and martyr, declares, while yet Pagan, that she will never love until she finds some one who has died to prove his love for her.

OH, proud and fair was she!
  Yet only proud perchance in being fair,
And in her speech, and in her smiling free,
  As Rose to summer air;
And near her in the dell        5
  Another damsel sat who sweetly sung;
And one who Love’s fond ancient chronicle
  Read; and these three were young,
And fair, and richly dight.
  But she I speak of, read not, neither sung,        10
But deemed she ministered enough delight
  In being fair and young.
“Love!” said she in disdain,
  “Now am I weary of the vows and sighs
Of lovers that to die for me are fain,        15
  Yet find I none who dies.”
She spoke again in jest
  Or sadness—which, I knew not then, nor she:
Deep words are spoken, deepest thoughts confessed,
  By hearts in careless glee.        20
“Yet might I in that train
  Find one who for my love indeed had died,
Then let him come to ask for love again,
  And I will be his bride!”
Oh, meek was she and fair,        25
  But then most fair, methought, in being meek;
And yet the same was she whom otherwhere
  I heard so proudly speak.
Her voice rose clear and soft
  As is the dove’s, and dove-like still caressed        30
One tender note, as if returning oft
  To what it loveth best.
She sang, “My soul is bound
  By that sweet olden promise, One who died
For me and for my love now have I found,        35
  I quit no more His side.”

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