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Preference Analysis

Author: Poetry of Charlotte Brontė Type: Poetry Views: 186

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Not in scorn do I reprove thee,

Not in pride thy vows I waive,

But, believe, I could not love thee,

Wert thou prince, and I a slave.

These, then, are thine oaths of passion ?

This, thy tenderness for me ?

Judged, even, by thine own confession,

Thou art steeped in perfidy.

Having vanquished, thou wouldst leave me !

Thus I read thee long ago;

Therefore, dared I not deceive thee,

Even with friendship's gentle show.

Therefore, with impassive coldness

Have I ever met thy gaze;

Though, full oft, with daring boldness,

Thou thine eyes to mine didst raise.

Why that smile ? Thou now art deeming

This my coldness all untrue,­

But a mask of frozen seeming,

Hiding secret fires from view.

Touch my hand, thou self-deceiver,

Nay­be calm, for I am so:

Does it burn ? Does my lip quiver ?

Has mine eye a troubled glow ?

Canst thou call a moment's colour

To my forehead­to my cheek ?

Canst thou tinge their tranquil pallor

With one flattering, feverish streak?

Am I marble ? What ! no woman

Could so calm before thee stand ?

Nothing living, sentient, human,

Could so coldly take thy hand ?

Yes­a sister might, a mother:

My good-will is sisterly:

Dream not, then, I strive to smother

Fires that inly burn for thee.

Rave not, rage not, wrath is fruitless,

Fury cannot change my mind;

I but deem the feeling rootless

Which so whirls in passion's wind.

Can I love ? Oh, deeply­truly­

Warmly­fondly­but not thee;

And my love is answered duly,

With an equal energy.

Wouldst thou see thy rival ? Hasten,

Draw that curtain soft aside,

Look where yon thick branches chasten

Noon, with shades of eventide.

In that glade, where foliage blending

Forms a green arch overhead,

Sits thy rival thoughtful bending

O'er a stand with papers spread­

Motionless, his fingers plying

That untired, unresting pen;

Time and tide unnoticed flying,

There he sits­the first of men !

Man of conscience­man of reason;

Stern, perchance, but ever just;

Foe to falsehood, wrong, and treason,

Honour's shield, and virtue's trust !

Worker, thinker, firm defender

Of Heaven's truth­man's liberty;

Soul of iron­proof to slander,

Rock where founders tyranny.

Fame he seeks not­but full surely

She will seek him, in his home;

This I know, and wait securely

For the atoning hour to come.

To that man my faith is given,

Therefore, soldier, cease to sue;

While God reigns in earth and heaven,

I to him will still be true !


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