Sonnets - XX

A poem by James Russell Lowell


Mary, since first I knew thee, to this hour,
My love hath deepened, with my wiser sense
Of what in Woman is to reverence;
Thy clear heart, fresh as e'er was forest-flower,
Still opens more to me its beauteous dower;--
But let praise hush,--Love asks no evidence
To prove itself well-placed: we know not whence
It gleans the straws that thatch its humble bower:
We can but say we found it in the heart,
Spring of all sweetest thoughts, arch foe of blame,
Sower of flowers in the dusty mart,
Pure vestal of the poet's holy flame,--
This is enough, and we have done our part
If we but keep it spotless as it came.

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