The Maiden’s Lover.

Woo me not with sighs and tears,1
Woo me not with vows,” she said,2
Tell me not of doubts and fears ;3
Deeds, not glowing words, I wed.4
Passion-pale I see thee stand ;5
Let Love speak, but not in sighs6
Passion but unnerves the hand,7
Drains the heart to wet the eyes.8
Who would win me must have won9
Rule right royal o’er his heart ;10
Wholly true, from sun to sun,11
So he’ll love me not in part.12
Who would win me, must have found,13
For his deep and manly love,14
Other vent than empty sound15
Vows protest but do not prove.16
Nobly as old legends tell,17
Rode the knight from land to land,18
Sin and wrong before him fell,19
Conquer’d by his stalwart hand.20
Glorious legends, were they true !21
Make them true if me you’d win ;22
Win for me and thee a new23
Triumph over death and sin.24
If thou languish at my side,25
I shall mock thee in my scorn ;26
Up, be doing—so thy bride27
On I pass till Death’s dark morn.28
If around thy spirit gather29
Rust of sloth and lustful ease,30
Though I love thee, I would rather31
Thou wert dying on my knees.”32
Swift he turned—that flashing face33
Woke a new-born love to life ;34
Then he knew her, all her grace :35
Won her nobly for his Wife.36