GRACIA

Nay, nay, Antonio! nay, thou shalt not blame her,
   My Gracia, who hath so deserted me.
Thou art my friend; but if thou dost defame her
   I shall not hesitate to challenge thee.

"Curse and forget her?" so I might another
   One not so bounteous natured or so fair;
But she, Antonio, she was like no other--
   I curse her not, because she was so rare.

She was made out of laughter and sweet kisses;
   Not blood, but sunshine, through her blue veins ran;
Her soul spilled over with its wealth of blisses,--
   She was too great for loving but a man.

None but a god could keep so rare a creature--
   I blame her not for her inconstancy;
When I recall each radiant smile, and feature,
   I wonder she was so long true to me.

Call her not false or fickle.  I, who love her,
   Do hold her not unlike the royal sun,
That, all unmated, roams the wide world over
   And lights all worlds, but lingers not with one.

If she were less a goddess, more a woman,
   And so had dallied for a time with me,
And then had left me, I, who am but human,
   Would slay her, and her newer love, may be.

But since she seeks Apollo, or another
   Of those lost gods (and seeks him all in vain),
And has loved me as well as any other
   Of her men-loves, why, I do not complain.

Poems of Passion by Ella Wheeler
Chicago : Belford, Clarke & Co, 1883.


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