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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

Aubrey Thomas De Vere b. 1814

Love’s Spite

YOU take a town you cannot keep;

And, forced in turn to fly,

O’er ruins you have made shall leap

Your deadliest enemy!

Her love is yours—and be it so—

But can you keep it? No, no, no!

Upon her brow we gaz’d with awe,

And lov’d, and wish’d to love, in vain;

But when the snow begins to thaw

We shun with scorn the miry plain.

Women with grace may yield: but she

Appear’d some Virgin Deity.

Bright was her soul as Dian’s crest

Whitening on Vesta’s fane its sheen:

Cold look’d she as the waveless breast

Of some stone Dian at thirteen.

Men lov’d: but hope they deem’d to be

A sweet Impossibility!