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The Deserted Wife
HE comes not--I have watch'd the moon go down, But yet he comes not--Once it was not so. He thinks not how these bitter tears do flow, The while he holds his riot in that town. Yet he will come, and chide, and I shall weep; And he will wake my infant from its sleep, To blend its feeble wailing with my tears. O! how I love a mother's watch to keep, Over those sleeping eyes, that smile, which cheers My heart, though sunk in sorrow, fix'd and deep. I had a husband once, who loved me--now He ever wears a frown upon his brow, And feeds his passion on a wanton's lip, As bees, from laurel flowers, a poison sip; But yet I cannot hate--O! there were hours, When I could hang for ever on his eye, And time who stole with silent swiftness by, Strew'd, as he hurried on, his path with flowers. I loved him then--he loved me too--My heart Still finds its fondness kindle, if he smile; The memory of our loves will ne'er depart; And though he often sting me with a dart, Venom'd and barb'd, and waste upon the vile, Caresses which his babe and mine should share; Though he should spurn me, I will calmly bear His madness--and should sickness come, and lay Its paralyzing hand upon him, then I would, with kindness, all my wrongs repay, Until the penitent should weep, and say How injured, and how faithful I had been.
James Gates Percival's other poems:
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