Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TO THE UNIMPLORED BELOVED, by EDWARD SHANKS



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TO THE UNIMPLORED BELOVED, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Remain for me, chaste, unapproached, unstirred
Last Line: Only an image, neither lover nor wife.
Subject(s): Love - Complaints


REMAIN, for me, chaste, unapproached, unstirred,
Never from me shall you hear any word
Asking that you should give me what I give.
To-day I speak to you, but even to-day
You shall not know it is you to whom I say,
I love you and shall love you while I live.

Once in these years my lips have touched your lips:
O will-benumbing sweetness! -- so one sips
Timidly a magic, an immortal wine,
Too strong for human bodies, only to try,
Saying that if I die one can but die,
But if I live that dangerous joy was mine.

Now move no footstep from your place, do not
Repeat that moment, nor by any jot
Of speech, or touch of hand or glance of eye
Show to me any more than common kindness,
But go your lovely way in lovely blindness,
You the still seen, the enraptured sečr I.

For gathered flowers go limp, bright-dusted wings
Of handled butterflies grow shabby things,
The mistress once enjoyed becomes a woman
-- Attentive, kindly, comforting, too near,
Till what was magic is no more than dear --
So, knowing I am, I will not think you human.

Some men love beauties they have found in books
Or who from pictures with unfading looks
Gaze out upon this changing fading life.
I, you -- and thus; and I would have you be
Ever the same and still remote from me,
Only an image, neither lover nor wife.




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