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Affection

 The earth that made the rose, 
She also is thy mother, and not I.
The flame wherewith thy maiden spirit glows Was lighted at no hearth that I sit by.
I am as far below as heaven above thee.
Were I thine angel, more I could not love thee.
Bid me defend thee! Thy danger over-human strength shall lend me, A hand of iron and a heart of steel, To strike, to wound, to slay, and not to feel.
But if you chide me, I am a weak, defenceless child beside thee.

by Mary Elizabeth Coleridge
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