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 now 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.

Poems of Passion by Ella Wheeler
Chicago : Belford, Clarke & Co, 1883.

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