Verse > Anthologies > Alfred H. Miles, ed. > Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century
Alfred H. Miles, ed.  Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century.  1907.
The Crowned Hippolytus (1881)
I. Two Lovers
By A. Mary F. Robinson-Darmesteter (1857–1944)
I LOVE my lover; on the heights above me
  He mocks my poor attainment with a frown.
  I, looking up as he is looking down,
By his displeasure guess he still doth love me;
For his ambitious love would ever prove me        5
  More excellent than I as yet am shown,
  So, straining for some good ungrasped, unknown,
I vainly would become his image of me.
And, reaching through the dreadful gulfs that sever
  Our souls, I strive with darkness nights and days,        10
  Till my perfected work towards him I raise,
Who laughs thereat, and scorns me more than ever,
  Yet his upbraiding is beyond all praise.
This lover that I love I call: Endeavour.
I have another lover loving me,
  Himself beloved of all men, fair and true.
  He would not have me change although I grew
Perfect as Light, because more tenderly
He loves myself than loves what I might be.
  Low at my feet he sings the winter through,        20
  And, never won, I love to hear him woo.
For in my heaven both sun and moon is he,
  To my bare life a fruitful-flooding Nile,
  His voice like April airs that in our isle
Wake sap in trees that slept since autumn went.        25
  His words are all caresses, and his smile
The relic of some Eden ravishment;
And he that loves me so I call: Content.

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