The Husband Speaks
by Elizabeth Stoddard
Dearest though I have sung a many songs,
Yet have I never sung one from my heart,
Save to thee only -- and such private songs
Are as the silent, secret kiss of Love!
My heart, I say, so sacred was, and is,
I kept, I keep it, from all eyes but thine,
Because it is no longer mine, but thine,
Given thee forever, when I gave myself
That winter morning -- was it years ago?
To me it seems the dream of yesterday!
You have not lost the face I married then,
Albeit a trifle paler -- not to-night --
Nor I the eyes that saw then, and see still,
What every man should see in her he weds!
I wander . . . wisely, let me, since my words
Conceal what none but you and I should know, --
The love I bear you, who have been, and are
Strong in the strength and weakness of your sex --
Queen of my household, mistress of my heart,
My children's mother, and my always friend;
In one word, Sweet, sweetest of all words -- Wife!
Houghton, Mifflin And Company, Boston And New York