Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. II. Love
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume II. Love.  1904.
VIII. Wedded Love
A Woman’s Complaint
I KNOW that deep within your heart of hearts
  You hold me shrined apart from common things,
And that my step, my voice, can bring to you
  A gladness that no other presence brings.
And yet, dear love, through all the weary days        5
  You never speak one word of tenderness,
Nor stroke my hair, nor softly clasp my hand
  Within your own in loving, mute caress.
You think, perhaps, I should be all content
  To know so well the loving place I hold        10
Within your life, and so you do not dream
  How much I long to hear the story told.
You cannot know, when we two sit alone,
  And tranquil thoughts within your mind are stirred,
My heart is crying like a tired child        15
  For one fond look, one gentle, loving word.
It may be when your eyes look into mine
  You only say, “How dear she is to me!”
Oh, could I read it in your softened glance,
  How radiant this plain old world would be!        20
Perhaps, sometimes, you breathe a secret prayer
  That choicest blessings unto me be given;
But if you said aloud, “God bless thee, dear!”
  I should not ask a greater boon from Heaven.
I weary sometimes of the rugged way;        25
  But should you say, “Through thee my life is sweet,”
The dreariest desert that our path could cross
  Would suddenly grow green beneath my feet.
’T is not the boundless waters ocean holds
  That give refreshment to the thirsty flowers,        30
But just the drops that, rising to the skies,
  From thence descend in softly falling showers.
What matter that our granaries are filled
  With all the richest harvest’s golden stores,
If we who own them cannot enter in,        35
  But famished stand before the close-barred doors?
And so ’t is sad that those who should be rich
  In that true love that crowns our earthly lot,
Go praying with white lips from day to day
  For love’s sweet tokens, and receive them not.        40

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