Verse > Anthologies > Louis Untermeyer, ed. > Modern British Poetry
Louis Untermeyer, ed. (1885–1977). Modern British Poetry.  1920.
Ernest Dowson. 1867–1900
57. You Would Have Understood Me
YOU would have understood me, had you waited; 
  I could have loved you, dear! as well as he: 
Had we not been impatient, dear! and fated 
        Always to disagree. 
What is the use of speech? Silence were fitter:         5
  Lest we should still be wishing things unsaid. 
Though all the words we ever spake were bitter, 
        Shall I reproach you, dead? 
Nay, let this earth, your portion, likewise cover 
  All the old anger, setting us apart:  10
Always, in all, in truth was I your lover; 
        Always, I held your heart. 
I have met other women who were tender, 
  As you were cold, dear! with a grace as rare. 
Think you, I turned to them, or made surrender,  15
        I who had found you fair? 
Had we been patient, dear! ah, had you waited, 
  I had fought death for you, better than he: 
But from the very first, dear! we were fated 
        Always to disagree.  20
Late, late, I come to you, now death discloses 
  Love that in life was not to be our part: 
On your low lying mound between the roses, 
        Sadly I cast my heart. 
I would not waken you: nay! this is fitter;  25
  Death and the darkness give you unto me; 
Here we who loved so, were so cold and bitter, 
        Hardly can disagree. 

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