Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, LILIES: 30. THE WHOLE, by GEORGE BARLOW (1847-1913)



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LILIES: 30. THE WHOLE, by            
First Line: Would'st thou be with me, if thou knewest the whole?
Last Line: Which once a girl's slight arrow struck right through.


Would'st thou be with me, if thou knewest the whole?
I cannot tell: my sins are black indeed,—
And yet for every sin I've had to bleed,
Till pale and bloodless is the exhausted soul.
Would still thy woman's pity intercede,
And still thy white hand linger in my own?
Or should I find myself adrift, alone,—
Like one shell in the Atlantic, or one weed?

One thing there is,—if sins of mine are large,
Large is the ocean of my suffering too,
And terribly wave-beaten all its marge:
This, seeing my whole life, thou would'st have to view,—
And thou would'st mark besides a broken targe,
Which once a girl's slight arrow struck right through.





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