Verse > Anthologies > Hunt and Lee, eds. > The Book of the Sonnet
Hunt and Lee, comps.  The Book of the Sonnet.  1867.
II. Requesting to Be Judged by the Desire, and Not by the Desert
By Aubrey Thomas de Vere (1814–1902)
(Headed by the Author, “A Poet to a Painter”)

THAT which my fault has made me, O paint not:
Paint me as that which I desire to be.
The unaccomplished good that died in thought,
Deep buried in my heart, seek out, set free;
And all I might have been concede to me:        5
The veil my error and the world have wrought,
Remove: the cloud disperse: erase the blot:
Bid from my brow the temporal darkness flee.
In that celestial and pure fount, whereof
Some drops affused my childhood, bathe me wholly;        10
And shield me from my own deserts: lest they
Who now but see me by the light of love,
A sterner insight learn from thee one day;
And love pass from them, like some outworn folly.

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