Verse > Anthologies > Alfred H. Miles, ed. > Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century
Alfred H. Miles, ed.  Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century.  1907.
II. The Crown of Love
By Emily Pfeiffer (1841–1890)
I WOULD be a goddess in
  The light of those dear eyes
Apt to hold you as to win,
  All-beautiful, all-wise.
Pray you wherefore should you deem        5
This a vain and idle dream?
  Purblind love that cannot see
  That woman still to man may be
Whatever she can seem!
I would win your tender trust,        10
  But not to keep you still
Kneeling lowly in the dust,
  Obedient to my will;
Nor to surfeit all my days
On the nectar of your praise;        15
  Or to hear it sung so high
  That the idle passer-by
Paused to hear your lays.
I but ask you for your faith
  That, wounded by the herd,        20
I may bring you healing with
  The magic of a word.
Pray you to believe me so
That in darkness, doubt, or woe,
  I may guide you when you grope,        25
  Light you with my stronger hope,
Warm you with my glow.
I would have you love me well,
  That, fainting in the strife,
Kiss of mine should be a spell,        30
  To win you back to life;
Love me so that day or night,
I could hide the world from sight,
  Keep it out with woven arms,
  Or subdue it with my charms,        35
As a goddess might!
Love! my worth will wax or wane
  As your light shall shine,
Now a homely thing, or vain,
  Now almost divine.        40
Lorn of love, my hands hang down,
I am nothing when you frown;
  Hold me fair, and keep me great,
  With your faithfulness for state,
And your love for crown!        45

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