Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward

A Letter

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Two things love can do,
Only two:
Can distrust, or can believe;
It can die, or it can live,
There is no syncope
Possible to love or me.
Go your ways!


Two things you can do,
Only two:
Be the thing you used to be,
Or be nothing more to me.
I can but joy or grieve,
Can no more than die or live.
Go your ways!


So far I wrote, my darling, drearily,
But now my sad pen falls down wearily
From out my trembling hand.


I did not, do not, cannot mean it, Dear!
Come life or death, joy, grief, or hope, or fear,
I bless you where I stand!


I bless you where I stand, excusing you,
No speech nor language for accusing you
My laggard lips can learn.


To you--be what you are, or can, to me,--
To you or blessedly or fatefully
My heart must turn!

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Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward