Prometheus Bound, and other poems/A Woman's Shortcomings
A WOMAN'S SHORTCOMINGS.
SHE has laughed as softly as if she sighed!
She has counted six and over,
Of a purse well filled, and a heart well tried—
Oh, each a worthy lover!
They "give her time;" for her soul must slip
Where the world has set the grooving:
She will lie to none with her fair red lip—
But love seeks truer loving.
She trembles her fan in a sweetness dumb,
As her thoughts were beyond recalling;
With a glance for one, and a glance for some,
From her eyelids rising and falling.
—Speaks common words with a blushful air;
—Hears bold words, unreproving:
But her silenoe says—what she never will swear—
And love seeks better loving.
Go, lady! lean to the night-guitar,
And drop a smile to the bringer;
Then smile as sweetly, when he is far,
At the voice of an in-door singer!
Bask tenderly beneath tender eyes;
Glance lightly, on their removing;
And join new vows to old perjuries—
But dare not call it loving!
Unless you can think, when the song is done,
No other is soft in the rhythm;
Unless you can feel, when left by One,
That all men beside go with him;
Unless you can know, when unpraised by his breath,
That your beauty itself wants proving;
Unless you can swear—"For life, for death!"—
Oh, fear to call it loving!
Unless you can muse in a crowd all day,
On the absent face that fixed you;
Unless you can love, as the angels may,
With the breadth of heaven betwixt you;
Unless you can dream that his faith is fast,
Through behoving and unbehoving;
Unless you can die when the dream, is past—
Oh, never call it loving!