Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A CONFESSION, by ALICE CARY

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A CONFESSION, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: I know a little damsel
Last Line: I shall false and faithless prove.
Subject(s): Love

I KNOW a little damsel
As light of foot as the air,
And with smile as gay
As th' sun o' th' May
And clouds of golden hair.
She sings with the larks at morning,
And sings with the doves at e'en,
And her cheeks they shine
Like a rose on the vine,
And her name is Charlamine.
To plague me and to please me
She knows a thousand arts,
And against my will
I love her still
With all my heart of hearts!

I know another damsel
With eyelids lowly weighed,
And so pale is she
That she seems to me
Like a blossom blown in the shade.
Her hands are white as charity,
And her voice is low and sweet,
And she runneth quick
To the sinful and sick,
And her name is Marguerite.
The broken and bowed in spirit
She maketh straight and whole,
And I sit at her knee
And she sings to me,
And I love her with my soul.

I know a lofty lady,
And her name is Heleanore.
And th' king o' the sky
In her lap doth lie
When she sitteth at her door.
Her shoulder is curved like an eagle's wing
When he riseth on his way,
And my two little maids
They lay in braids
Her dark locks day by day.
Her heart in the folds of her kerchief
It doth not fall or rise,
And afar I wait
At her royal gate,
And I love her with my eyes!

Now you that are wise in love-lore,
Come teach your arts to me,
For each of the darling damsels
Is as sweet as she can be!
And if I wed with Charlamine
Of the airy little feet.
I shall sicken and sigh,
I shall droop and die,
For my gentle Marguerite!
And if I wed with Marguerite,
Whom I so much adore,
I shall long to go
From her hand of snow
To my Lady Heleanore!
And if I wed with Heleanore,
Whom with my eyes I love,
'Gainst all that is right,
In my own despite,
I shall false and faithless prove.

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