SONNETS FROM THE PORTUGUESE

SONNET XVIII

I never gave a lock of hair away
To a man, Dearest, except this to thee,
Which now upon my fingers thoughtfully,
I ring out to the full brown length, and say,
"Take it."  My day of youth went yesterday;
My hair no longer bounds to my foot's glee,
Nor plant I it from rose or myrtle-tree,
As girls do, any more:  It only may
Now shade on two pale cheeks, the mark of tears,
Taught drooping from the head that hangs aside
Through sorrow's trick.  I thought the funeral-shears
Would take this first; but Love is justified:
Take it, thou, . . . finding pure, from all those years,
The kiss my mother left here when she died. 

 


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