Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, MY KATE, by ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING



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MY KATE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: She was not as pretty as women I know
Last Line: My kate?
Subject(s): Women


SHE was not as pretty as women I know,
And yet all your best made of sunshine and snow
Drop to shade, melt to naught in the long-trodden ways,
While she's still remembered on warm and cold days--
My Kate.

Her air had a meaning, her movements a grace;
You turned from the fairest to gaze on her face:
And when you had once seen her forehead and mouth,
You saw as distinctly her soul and her truth--
My Kate.

Such a blue inner light from her eyelids outbroke,
You looked at her silence and fancied she spoke:
When she did, so peculiar yet soft was the tone,
Though the loudest spoke also, you heard her alone--
My Kate.

I doubt if she said to you much that could act
As a thought or suggestion: she did not attract
In the sense of the brilliant or wise: I infer
'Twas her thinking of others, made you think of her--
My Kate.

She never found fault with you, never implied
Your wrong by her right; and yet men at her side
Grew nobler, girls purer, as through the whole town
The children were gladder that pulled at her gown--
My Kate.

None knelt at her feet confessed lovers in thrall;
They knelt more to God than they used,--that was all:
If you praised her as charming, some asked what you meant,
But the charm of her presence was felt when she went--
My Kate.

The weak and the gentle, the ribald and rude,
She took them as she found them, and did them all good;
It was always so with her--see what you have!
She has made the grass greener even here .. with her grave--
My Kate.

My dear one!--when thou wast alive with the rest,
I held thee the sweetest and loved thee the best:
And now thou art dead, shall I not take thy part
As thy smiles used to do for thyself, my sweet Heart--
My Kate?





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