A Wife’s Pardon.

Now that the first wild pang is past and over,1
Now I have learn’d to accept it as a truth,2
That men love not as women, that the lover3
To whom the woman gives herself, her youth,4
Her trust, her love, her worship,—in his heart,5
Just on the surface,—keeps a spot apart,6
Deck’d with gay weeds, and painted flies and flowers,7
Bright to the eye, all scentless though they be :8
Beneath whose flaunting blooms and shadeless bowers9
He can receive as flaunting company ;10
I can forgive thee, knowing that I hold,11
Alone of all, the key of purest gold12
That locks the gate beyond, whose golden trellis13
Shuts out the common herd and shuts in me,14
’Mid nightingales and fountains, where a palace15
Hymen hath built, and I alone with thee16
Can dwell while both shall live, supreme to reign17
The rightful queen of this my fair domain.18
So, I forgive thee, husband, yes, I pardon,19
I give thee back the love I had withdrawn ;20
Love—ay, but not the same love, that gay garden21
With all its florid flowers, its dance-trod lawn,22
Its painted butterflies, a tomb contains23
Wherein lie buried Trust’s poor cold remains.24