4532909Poems — ConfessionsEliza Gabriella Lewis
I speak in very bitterness, for I have deeply felt
The mock'ry of the hollow shrine at which my spirit knelt.
The weary hours—the restless nights—the mind in tumults toss'd,
Ambition—were thy gilded toys worth the sweet peace they cost?
Alas! alas! for woman's heart, 'tis an unworthy shrine,
To offer up the spirit's love—and, oh! unfit for mine.
Yet must I still the phantom seek, nor listen love's mild tone,
Breathed from lips whose eloquence I tremble whilst I own;
And I must learn to disavow the feelings of my soul—
To teach my throbbing heart to bow to reason's calm control;
To look with coldness on the brow, where love's bright seal is set—
To turn from passion's fervent vow, and struggle to forget;
And this is woman's destiny—a life of many cares—
A smiling brow above the gloom the aching bosom bears;
And her reward, a loneliness of spirit and of years.
No gentle hand her own to press—with sympathizing tears.
Her fair cheek pales beneath the chill the world hath round her cast;
Yet must she woman's fate fulfil, and struggle to the last;
E'en to the last—dissembler still—the tomb may not reveal
Her love's wild terror; nor despair break from the grave's cold seal.
And if I speak in bitterness—have I not deeply felt?
Aye, trembled—lest in tenderness my woman's heart should melt;
And I have bowed me to the ground, before ambition's shrine;
Oh! holy love—warm, pure, and true—would I could bow at thine!