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Joseph Skipsey

(March 17, 1832 - September 3,1903 / Percy, Northumberland)

Love Without Hope


THEE glory of her charms I felt,
And thro' my frame electric ran
What made my stubborn heart to melt,
And feel as hearts of passion can;
And from that hour, her eyes of jet,
And every trait and every hue,
In her delightful being met,
Pursues me and shall e'er pursue.

A vision bright, a form of light,
She glides before my inner eyes;
And tho' anear she doth appear,
In vain for her my bosom sighs—
In vain, in vain, and woe and pain
Are mine—and woe and pain alone—
Another's arms must fold those charms,
Which I would give a world to own.

Upon the block with nerve of rock,
This hour would see my head reclined,
Could this but show o'er all below
My image in her heart were shrined;
Yes, yes, for this unequalled bliss,
Upon the wings of rapture borne,
My soul would cleave the air and leave
Her mortal bonds asunder torn!

A niche possessed within her breast,
Ay, more than life I'd value that—
What were it then, could I but strain
Her to my heart my own? ay, what?
Entranced I feel,—my senses reel,—
Up in a fiery whirlwind caught
Away, fly they, and leave me—ay,
Half frantic at the very thought!

What would I have, what do I crave?
What were a sin for me to touch!—
Yon radiant star that beams from far,
Her lustre equals twenty such;
She's past compare a jewel rare,
Of value more than crowns can boast;
Whilst I who sigh—ah what am I?
A wretch who merits scorn at most.

Far, far above my worth and love
Is she—and were she less divine,
Another's arms would fold her charms,
And I were destined still to pine;
Thus double doomed to be consumed
By passion's raging fires, I know
On earth a hell as fierce and fell,
As aught a future state could show.

Alas! alas! we seldom love
Where love may equal love obtain;
Our idols in our fancy move—
Fleet phantoms we may chase in vain;
We either love what's little worth,
And live to rue the sequel; or,
What never can be ours on earth,
And so must evermore deplore!

Submitted: Thursday, September 04, 2014

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