Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THEODORA, by PHOEBE CARY

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THEODORA, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: By that name you will not know her
Last Line: "I am desolate, forsaken!"
Subject(s): Women; Human Behavior

BY that name you will not know her,
But if words of mine can show her
In such way that you may see
How she doth appear to me;
If, attending you shall find
The fair picture in my mind,
You will think this title meetest,
Gift of God, the best and sweetest.

All her free, impulsive acting,
Is so charming, so distracting,
Lovers think her made, I know,
Only for a play-fellow.
Coral lips, concealing pearls,
Hath she, 'twixt dark rows of curls;
And her words, dropt soft and slowly,
Seem half ravishing, half holy.

She is for a saint too human,
Yet too saintly for a woman;
Something childish in her face
Blended with maturer grace,
Shows a nature pure and good,
Perfected by motherhood; --
Eyes Madonna-like, love-laden,
Holier than befit a maiden.

Simple in her faith unshrinking,
Wise as sages in her thinking;
Showing in her artless speech
All she of herself can teach;
Hiding love and thought profound,
In such depths as none may sound;
One, though known and comprehended,
Yet with wondrous mystery blended.

Sitting meekly and serenely,
Sitting in a state most queenly;
Knowing, though dethroned, discrowned,
That her kingdom shall be found;
That her Father's child must be
Heir of immortality;
This is still her highest merit,
That she ruleth her own spirit.

Thou to whom is given this treasure,
Guard it, love it without measure;
If forgotten it should lie
In a weak hand carelessly,
Thou mayst wake to miss and weep,
That which thou didst fail to keep;
Crying, when the gift is taken,
"I am desolate, forsaken!"

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