Elizabeth Stoddard



I Love You, But A Sense Of Pain

by Elizabeth Stoddard

I love you, but a sense of pain
Is in my heart and in my brain;
Now, when your voice and eyes are kind,
May I reveal my complex mind?

Though I am yours, it is my curse
Some ideal passion to rehearse:
I dream of one that 's not like you,
Never of one that's half so true.

To quell these yearnings, vague and wild,
I often kneel by our dear child
In still, dark nights (you are asleep),
And hold his hands, and try to weep.

I cannot weep; I cannot pray --
Why grow so pale, and turn away?
Do you expect to hold me fast
By pretty legends in the past?

It is a woman's province, then,
To be content with what has been?
To wear the wreath of withered flowers,
That crowned her in the bridal hours?

Still, I am yours: this idle strife
Stirs but the surface of my life:
And if you would but ask once more,
How goes the heart? or at the door

Imploring stand, and knock again,
I might forget this sense of pain,
And down oblivion's sullen stream
Would float the memory of my dream!


Copyright 1895
Houghton, Mifflin And Company, Boston And New York