Verse > Anthologies > Louis Untermeyer, ed. > Modern British Poetry
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Louis Untermeyer, ed. (1885–1977). Modern British Poetry.  1920.
 
Richard Aldington. 1892–
 
165. Prelude
 
HOW could I love you more? 
I would give up 
Even that beauty I have loved too well 
That I might love you better. 
Alas, how poor the gifts that lovers give—         5
I can but give you of my flesh and strength, 
I can but give you these few passing days 
And passionate words that, since our speech began, 
All lovers whisper in all ladies' ears. 
  
I try to think of some one lovely gift  10
No lover yet in all the world has found; 
I think: If the cold sombre gods 
Were hot with love as I am 
Could they not endow you with a star 
And fix bright youth for ever in your limbs?  15
Could they not give you all things that I lack? 
  
You should have loved a god; I am but dust. 
Yet no god loves as loves this poor frail dust. 
 
 
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