I have lived this life as the skeptic lives it;
I have said the sweetness was less than the gall;
Praising, nor cursing, the Hand that gives it,
I have drifted aimlessly through it all.
I have scoffed at the tale of a so-called heaven;
I have laughed at the thought of a Supreme Friend;
I have said that it only to man was given
To live, to endure; and to die was the end.
But I know that a good God reigneth,
Generous-hearted and kind and true;
Since unto a worm like me he deigneth
To send so royal a gift as you.
Bright as a star you gleam on my bosom,
Sweet as a rose that the wild bee sips;
And I know, my own, my beautiful blossom,
That none but a God could mould such lips.
And I believe, in the fullest measure
That ever a strong man's heart could hold,
In all the tales of heavenly pleasure
By poets sung or by prophets told;
For in the joy of your shy, sweet kisses,
Your pulsing touch and your languid sigh
I am filled and thrilled with better blisses
Than ever were claimed for souls on high.
And now I have faith in all the stories
Told of the beauties of unseen lands;
Of royal splendors and marvellous glories
Of the golden city not made with hands
For the silken beauty of falling tresses,
Of lips all dewy and cheeks aglow,
With—what the mind in a half trance guesses
Of the twin perfection of drifts of snow;
Of limbs like marble, of thigh and shoulder
Carved like a statue in high relief—
These, as the eyes and the thoughts grow bolder,
Leave no room for an unbelief.
So my lady, my queen most royal,
My skepticism has passed away;
If you are true to me, true and loyal,
I will believe till the Judgment-day.