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I have lived this life as a 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 royaly 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.