Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895.  1895.
 
Be Mine, and I Will Give Thy Name
 
William Cox Bennett (b. 1820)
 
 
BE mine, and I will give thy name
  To Memory’s care,
So well, that it shall breathe, with fame,
  Immortal air,
That time and change and death shall be        5
Scorn’d by the life I give to thee.
 
I will not, like the sculptor, trust
  Thy shape to stone;
That, years shall crumble into dust,
  Its form unknown;        10
No—the white statue’s life shall be
Short, to the life I ’ll give to thee.
 
Not to the canvas worms may fret
  Thy charms I ’ll give;
Soon shall the world those charms forget,        15
  If there they live;
The life that colors lend shall be
Poor to the life I ’ll give to thee.
 
For thou shalt live, defying time
  And mocking death,        20
In music on—O life sublime!—
  A nation’s breath;
Love, in a people’s songs, shall be
The eternal life I ’ll give to thee.
 

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