Verse > Anthologies > Alfred H. Miles, ed. > Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century
Alfred H. Miles, ed.  Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century.  1907.
A Palace of Dreams, and Other Verse (1901)
I. Sonnets I, XXI, XL, XLIII
By Ada Bartrick Baker (1854– )
SINCE to my dreams you once unbidden came,
I know not why, nor may I dare to tell
How, though my heart remembers but too well
The thought of you has set my soul aflame
And I, when others chance to speak your name,        5
Feel that it holds for me a secret spell
To make my pulses thrill, my bosom swell
And flutter, all aglow with joy and shame.
Yet what should shame me? For although I meet
Your eyes, no knowledge in them dwells of this        10
My fancy stolen-shadow of a bliss
You gave me; and because it was so sweet,
And being but a dream can bring no pain,
I’ll dream it, waking, o’er and o’er again.
More rich am I than richest misers are
For I have you, more worth than glitt’ring hoard
Of heap’d-up gold, within my bosom stored
Where sweet remembrance needs no bolt nor bar.
And I do count myself the happier far
That you, my joy, to others joy afford:        20
Base treasures basely own but one poor lord,
Who is’t dare claim the shining of a star?
Things chiefest prized,—the sun that glows above,
The flowery fields, the woods, the wand’ring air,
These sweet delights we must with others share,        25
And so am I content to share your love.
That you love others shall not make my grief;
That you love me makes you from those no thief.
Not to be near you! But to know my days
Apart from yours must waste away, and lose        30
The golden time which should be love’s to use,
Like some bright spirit hovering round your ways:
To lift my eyes, and yet not meet your gaze
That falls upon my soul like thrilling dews:
To think of you—and weep! Yet, weeping, choose        35
Through all my tears love’s bitter-sweet to praise.
To dream of you, when dawning slowly brings
Remembrance of my pain, that stirs and wakes
Against my bosom all the night, and makes
The lonely dark a voice of mournful things.        40
O this it is love’s thorny crown to wear,
And find how sharp the pricks that wound me there!
It is like heaven to dream! Soft flows the river
Of shadowy sleep under a charmèd sky,
Lull’d by the trembling airs that wander by,        45
Where moonlight and pale starlight fall and shiver.
And one low song—’tis love’s—pours forth a quiver
Of unseen joy. Ah! must we wake to sigh
That love is a regret? Do you, as I,
Hold back the gift, so fain to be the giver?        50
Do you, as I? The cry rings all in vain:
Your voice must never answer. For apart,
I whisper wild enchantments to my heart,
And bid it sleep and dream of heaven again.
O! on some bright, some far, ethereal shore,        55
To wake and know you mine, a dream no more!

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