Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. II. Love
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume II. Love.  1904.
 
VI. Lovers
My Beautiful Lady
Thomas Woolner (1825–1892)
 
I LOVE my Lady; she is very fair;
Her brow is wan, and bound by simple hair;
  Her spirit sits aloof, and high,
  But glances from her tender eye
    In sweetness droopingly.        5
 
As a young forest while the wind drives through,
My life is stirred when she breaks on my view;
  Her beauty grants my will no choice
  But silent awe, till she rejoice
    My longing with her voice.        10
 
Her warbling voice, though ever low and mild,
Oft makes me feel as strong wine would a child;
  And though her hand be airy light
  Of touch, it moves me with its might,
    As would a sudden fright.        15
 
A hawk high poised in air, whose nerved wing-tips
Tremble with might suppressed, before he dips,
  In vigilance, scarce more intense
  Than I, when her voice holds my sense
    Contented in suspense.        20
 
Her mention of a thing, august or poor,
Makes it far nobler than it was before:
  As where the sun strikes life will gush,
  And what is pale receive a flush,
    Rich hues, a richer blush.        25
 
My Lady’s name, when I hear strangers use,
Not meaning her, to me sounds lax misuse;
  I love none but my Lady’s name;
  Maud, Grace, Rose, Marian, all the same
    Are harsh, or blank and tame.        30
 
My Lady walks as I have watched a swan
Swim where a glory on the water shone:
  There ends of willow branches ride,
  Quivering in the flowing tide,
    By the deep river’s side.        35
 
Fresh beauties, howsoe’er she moves, are stirred:
As the sunned bosom of a humming bird
  At each pant lifts some fiery hue,
  Fierce gold, bewildering green or blue;
    The same, yet ever new.        40
 
 
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