Verse > Anthologies > > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse
Arthur Quiller-Couch, comp.  The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse.  1922.
Youth and Maidenhood
By Sarah Williams (1837–1868)
LIKE a drop of water is my heart
  Laid upon her soft and rosy palm,
Turn’d whichever way her hand doth turn,
  Trembling in an ecstasy of calm.
Like a broken rose-leaf is my heart,        5
  Held within her close and burning clasp,
Breathing only dying sweetness out,
  Withering beneath the fatal grasp.
Like a vapoury cloudlet is my heart,
  Growing into beauty near the sun,        10
Gaining rainbow hues in her embrace,
  Melting into tears when it is done.
Like mine own dear harp is this my heart,
  Dumb without the hand that sweeps its strings;
Tho’ the hand be careless or be cruel,        15
  When it comes my heart breaks forth and sings.

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