The Protest

A poem by James Russell Lowell

I could not bear to see those eyes
On all with wasteful largess shine,
And that delight of welcome rise
Like sunshine strained through amber wine,
But that a glow from deeper skies,
From conscious fountains more divine,
Is (is it?) mine.

Be beautiful to all mankind,
As Nature fashioned thee to be;
'Twould anger me did all not find
The sweet perfection that's in thee:
Yet keep one charm of charms behind,--
Nay, thou'rt so rich, keep two or three
For (is it?) me!

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