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Poem by Adelaide Anne Procter


A Womans Question


BEFORE I trust my fate to thee,
Or place my hand in thine,
Before I let thy future give
Color and form to mine,
Before I peril all for thee, question thy soul to-night for me.

I break all slighter bonds, nor feel
A shadow of regret:
Is there one link within the Past
That holds thy spirit yet?
Or is thy faith as clear and free as that which I can pledge to thee?

Does there within thy dimmest dreams
A possible future shine,
Wherein thy life could henceforth breathe,
Untouchd, unshard by mine?
If so, at any pain or cost, O, tell me before all is lost.

Look deeper still. If thou canst feel,
Within thy inmost soul,
That thou hast kept a portion back,
While I have stakd the whole;
Let no false pity spare the blow, but in true mercy tell me so.

Is there within thy heart a need
That mine cannot fulfil?
One chord that any other hand
Could better wake or still?
Speak nowlest at some future day my whole life wither and decay.

Lives there within thy nature hid
The demon-spirit Change,
Shedding a passing glory still
On all things new and strange?
It may not be thy fault alonebut shield my heart against thy own.

Couldst thou withdraw thy hand one day
And answer to my claim,
That Fate, and that to-days mistake
Not thouhad been to blame?
Some soothe their conscience thus; but thou wilt surely warn and save me now.

Nay, answer not,I dare not hear,
The words would come too late;
Yet I would spare thee all remorse,
So, comfort thee, my fate
Whatever on my heart may fallremember, I would risk it all! 



                      Adelaide Anne Procter


Adelaide Anne Procter's other poems:
  1. My God, I Thank Thee Who Hast Made
  2. Doubting Heart
  3. Per Pacem Ad Lucem
  4. The Requital
  5. Fidelis


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