Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, CHARMS, by WILLIAM ROSE BENET

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CHARMS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: I hold to a cup my mother gave me
Last Line: Is this phylactery of our vows!
Subject(s): Charms (jewelry); Tears

I hold to a cup my mother gave me
Of tears, bright tears, glad tears to save me,
Shed at my birth and ofttimes after --
Tears of pain and tears of laughter.
I lift against the shadowing years
The brilliance of her cup of tears.

And round my neck I wear forever
A chain no mortal hand may sever.
The links are pride, with honor's clasping,
That mocks each tempter's evil grasping,
Against all fear enheartening me,
My father's bright integrity.

Last is this scroll my true-love proffered
When all the love her deep heart offered
Was sealed therein, its seal commanding
All truth, all trust, all understanding.
Bound fast forever on my brows
Is this phylactery of our vows!

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