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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Sonnets
By George Henry Boker (1823–1890)
 
EITHER the sum of this sweet mutiny
  Amongst thy features argues me some harm,
  Or else they practice wicked treachery
Against themselves, thy heart, and hapless me.
  For as I start aside with blank alarm,        5
  Dreading the glitter which begins to arm
Thy clouded brows, lo! from thy lips I see
A smile come stealing, like a loaded bee,
Heavy with sweets and perfumes, all ablaze
  With soft reflections from the flowery wall        10
Whereon it pauses. Yet I will not raise
  One question more, let smile or frown befall,
Taxing thy love where I should only praise,
  And asking changes that might change thee all.
 
OH for some spirit, some magnetic spark,        15
  That used nor word, nor rhyme, nor balanced pause
  Of doubtful phrase, which so supinely draws
My barren verse, and blurs love’s shining mark
With misty fancies!—Oh! to burst the dark
  Of smothered feeling with some new-found laws,        20
  Hidden in nature, that might bridge the flaws
Between two beings, end this endless cark,
And make hearts know what lips have never said!
  Oh! for some spell, by which one soul might move
With echoes from another, and dispread        25
  Contagious music through its chords, above
The touch of mimic art: that thou might’st tread
  Beneath thy feet this wordy show of love!
 
HERE let the motions of the world be still!—
  Here let Time’s fleet and tireless pinions stay        30
  Their endless flight!—or to the present day
Bind my Love’s life and mine. I have my fill
Of earthly bliss: to move is to meet ill.
  Though lavish fortune in my path might lay
  Fame, power, and wealth,—the toys that make the play        35
Of earth’s grown children,—I would rather till
The stubborn furrows of an arid land,
  Toil with the brute, bear famine and disease,
  Drink bitter bondage to the very lees,
Than break our union by love’s tender band,        40
Or drop its glittering shackles from my hand,
  To grasp at empty glories such as these.
 
 
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