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The Married Lover

Written by: Coventry Patmore | Biography
 | Quotes (2) |
 Why, having won her, do I woo? 
Because her spirit's vestal grace 
Provokes me always to pursue, 
But, spirit-like, eludes embrace; 
Because her womanhood is such
That, as on court-days subjects kiss 
The Queen's hand, yet so near a touch 
Affirms no mean familiarness; 
Nay, rather marks more fair the height 
Which can with safety so neglect 
To dread, as lower ladies might, 
That grace could meet with disrespect; 
Thus she with happy favour feeds 
Allegiance from a love so high 
That thence no false conceit proceeds 
Of difference bridged, or state put by; 
Because although in act and word 
As lowly as a wife can be, 
Her manners, when they call me lord, 
Remind me 'tis by courtesy; 
Not with her least consent of will, 
Which would my proud affection hurt, 
But by the noble style that still 
Imputes an unattain'd desert; 
Because her gay and lofty brows, 
When all is won which hope can ask, 
Reflect a light of hopeless snows 
That bright in virgin ether bask; 
Because, though free of the outer court 
I am, this Temple keeps its shrine 
Sacred to Heaven; because, in short, 
She 's not and never can be mine.



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