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All That Love Asks

 All that I ask, 'says Love, 'is just to stand
And gaze, unchided, deep in thy dear eyes;
For in their depths lies largest Paradise.
Yet, if perchance one pressure of thy hand Be granted me, then joy I thought complete Were still more sweet.
'All that I ask, ' says Love, 'all that I ask, Is just thy hand clasp.
Could I brush thy cheek As zephyrs brush a rose leaf, words are weak To tell the bliss in which my soul would bask.
There is no language but would desecrate A joy so great.
'All that I ask, is just one tender touch Of that soft cheek.
Thy pulsing palm in mine, Thy dark eyes lifted in a trust divine And those curled lips that tempt me overmuch Turned where I may not seize the supreme bliss Of one mad kiss.
'All that I ask, ' says Love, 'of life, of death, Or of high heaven itself, is just to stand, Glance melting into glance, hand twined in hand, The while I drink the nectar of thy breath, In one sweet kiss, but one, of all thy store, I ask no more.
' 'All that I ask'-nay, self-deceiving Love, Reverse thy phrase, so thus the words may fall, In place of 'all I ask, ' say, 'I ask all, ' All that pertains to earth or soars above, All that thou wert, art, will be, body, soul, Love asks the whole.

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
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