Verse > Anthologies > Alfred H. Miles, ed. > Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century
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Alfred H. Miles, ed.  Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century.  1907.
 
Innocencies (1905)
III. The Mother
By Katharine Tynan Hinkson (1861–1931)
 
GREAT passions I awake that must
Bow any woman to the dust
With fear lest she should fail to rise
As high as those enamoured eyes.
 
Now for these flying days and sweet        5
I sit in Beauty’s Mercy-Seat.
My smiles, my favours I award,
Since I am beautiful, adored.
 
They praise my cheeks, my lips, my eyes,
With Love’s most exquisite flatteries,        10
Covet my hands that they may kiss
And to their ardent bosoms press.
 
My foot upon the nursery stair
Makes them a music rich and rare;
My skirt that rustles as I come        15
For very rapture strikes them dumb.
 
What jealousies of word and glance!
The light of my poor countenance
Lights up their world that else were drear.
“But you are lovely, mother dear!”        20
 
I go not to my grave but I
Know Beauty’s full supremacy:
Like Cleopatra’s self, I prove
The very heights and depths of Love.
 
So to be loved, so to be wooed,        25
Oh, more than mortal woman should!
What if she fail or fall behind!
Lord, make me worthy, keep them blind!
 
 
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