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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Author Unknown

A Nineteenth-Century Lyric

COULD I answer love like thine,

All earth to me were heaven anew;

But were thy heart, dear child, as mine,

What place for love between us two?

Bright things for tired eyes vainly shine:

A grief the pure heaven’s simple blue.

Alas, for lips past joy of wine,

That find no blessing in God’s dew!

From dawning summits crystalline

Thou lookest down; thou makest sign

Toward this bleak vale I wander through.

I cannot answer: that pure shrine

Of childhood, though my love be true,

Is hidden from my dim confine;

I must not hope for clearer view.

The sky, the earth, the wrinkled brine,

Would wear to me a fresher hue,

And all once more be half divine,

Could I answer love like thine.