A Sketch

'Emelie, that fayrer was to seene
Than is the lilye on hys stalke grene.....
Uprose the sun and uprose Emelie.'

DOST thou thus love me, O thou beautiful?
So beautiful, that by thy side I seem
Like a great ducky cloud beside a star:
Yet thou creep'st o'er its edges, and it rests
On its lone path, the slow deep-hearted cloud--
Then opes a rift and lets thee enter in;
And with thy beauty shining on its breast,
Feels no more its own blackness--thou art fair.

Dost thou thus love me, O thou all beloved,
In whose large store the very meanest coin
Would out-buy my whole wealth? Yet here thou comest
Like a kind heiress from her purple and down
Uprising, who for pity cannot sleep,
But goes forth to the stranger at her gate--
The beggared stranger at her beauteous gate--
And clothes and feeds; scarce blest till she has blest.

Dost thou thus love me, O thou pure of heart,
Whose very looks are prayers? What couldst thou see
In this forsaken pool by the yew-wood's side,
To sit down at its bank, and dip thy hand,
Saying, 'it is so clear!'--And lo, erelong
Its blackness caught the shimmer of they wings,
Its slimes slid downward from thy stainless palm,
Its depths grew still that there thy form might rise.

O beautiful! O well-beloved! O rich
In all that makes my need! I lay me down
I' the shadow of thy love, and feel no pain.
The cloud floats on, thee glittering on its breast,
The beggar wears thy purple as his own:
The noisome waves, made calm, creep to thy feet
Rejoicing that they yet can image thee,
And beyond thee, God's heaven, thick-sown with stars.

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"A Sketch" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 4 Jun 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/7978/a-sketch>.

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