Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A WOMAN'S ANSWER, by ADELAIDE ANNE PROCTER

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

A WOMAN'S ANSWER, by         Recitation             Poet's Biography
First Line: I will not let you say a woman's part
Last Line: O, more a thousand times, than all the rest!
Alternate Author Name(s): Berwick, Mary
Subject(s): Love - Complaints; Women

I WILL not let you say a woman's part
Must be to give exclusive love alone;
Dearest, although I love you so, my heart
Answers a thousand claims besides your own.
I love, -- what do I not love? Earth and air
Find space within my heart, and myriad things
You would not deign to heed are cherished there,
And vibrate on its very inmost strings.
I love the summer, with her ebb and flow
Of light and warmth and music, that have nursed
Her tender buds to blossoms...and you know
It was in the summer that I saw you first.
I love the winter dearly too,...but then
I owe it so much; on a winter's day,
Bleak, cold, and stormy, you returned again
When you had been those weary months away.
I love the stars like friends; so many nights
I gazed at them, when you were far from me,
Till I grew blind with tears...those far-off lights
Could watch you, whom I longed in vain to see.
I love the flowers; happy hours lie
Shut up within their petals close and fast:
You have forgotten, dear; but they and I
Keep every fragment of the golden Past.
I love, too, to be loved; all loving praise
Seems like a crown upon my life, -- to make
It better worth the giving, and to raise
Still nearer to your own the heart you take.
I love all good and noble souls; -- I heard
One speak of you but lately, and for days,
Only to think of it, my soul was stirred
In tender memory of such generous praise.
I love all those who love you, all who owe
Comfort to you; and I can find regret
Even for those poorer hearts who once could know,
And once could love you, and can now forget.
Well, is my heart so narrow, -- I, who spare
Love for all these? Do I not even hold
My favorite books in special tender care,
And prize them as a miser does his gold?
The poets that you used to read to me
While summer twilights faded in the sky;
But most of all I think Aurora Leigh,
Because -- because -- do you remember why?
Will you be jealous? Did you guess before
I loved so many things? -- Still you the best: --
Dearest, remember that I love you more,
O, more a thousand times, than all the rest!

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