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The Beggars Valentine

 Kiss me and comfort my heart 
Maiden honest and fine.
I am the pilgrim boy Lame, but hunting the shrine; Fleeing away from the sweets, Seeking the dust and rain, Sworn to the staff and road, Scorning pleasure and pain; Nevertheless my mouth Would rest like a bird an hour And find in your curls a nest And find in your breast a bower: Nevertheless my eyes Would lose themselves in your own, Rivers that seek the sea, Angels before the throne: Kiss me and comfort my heart, For love can never be mine: Passion, hunger and pain, These are the only wine Of the pilgrim bound to the road.
He would rob no man of his own.
Your heart is another's I know, Your honor is his alone.
The feasts of a long drawn love, The feasts of a wedded life, The harvests of patient years, And hearthstone and children and wife: These are your lords I know.
These can never be mine — This is the price I pay For the foolish search for the shrine: This is the price I pay For the joy of my midnight prayers, Kneeling beneath the moon With hills for my altar stairs; This is the price I pay For the throb of the mystic wings, When the dove of God comes down And beats round my heart and sings; This is the price I pay For the light I shall some day see At the ends of the infinite earth When truth shall come to me.
And what if my body die Before I meet the truth? The road is dear, more dear Than love or life or youth.
The road, it is the road, Mystical, endless, kind, Mother of visions vast, Mother of soul and mind; Mother of all of me But the blood that cries for a mate — That cries for a farewell kiss From the child of God at the gate.

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