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A Sketch

Dinah Maria Mulock Craik 1826 (Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire) – 1887 (Shortlands, London)



'Emelie, that fayrer was to seene
Than is the lilye on hys stalke grene.....
Uprose the sun and uprose Emelie.'

DOST thou thus love me, O thou beautiful?
So beautiful, that by thy side I seem
Like a great ducky cloud beside a star:
Yet thou creep'st o'er its edges, and it rests
On its lone path, the slow deep-hearted cloud--
Then opes a rift and lets thee enter in;
And with thy beauty shining on its breast,
Feels no more its own blackness--thou art fair.

Dost thou thus love me, O thou all beloved,
In whose large store the very meanest coin
Would out-buy my whole wealth? Yet here thou comest
Like a kind heiress from her purple and down
Uprising, who for pity cannot sleep,
But goes forth to the stranger at her gate--
The beggared stranger at her beauteous gate--
And clothes and feeds; scarce blest till she has blest.

Dost thou thus love me, O thou pure of heart,
Whose very looks are prayers? What couldst thou see
In this forsaken pool by the yew-wood's side,
To sit down at its bank, and dip thy hand,
Saying, 'it is so clear!'--And lo, erelong
Its blackness caught the shimmer of they wings,
Its slimes slid downward from thy stainless palm,
Its depths grew still that there thy form might rise.

O beautiful! O well-beloved! O rich
In all that makes my need! I lay me down
I' the shadow of thy love, and feel no pain.
The cloud floats on, thee glittering on its breast,
The beggar wears thy purple as his own:
The noisome waves, made calm, creep to thy feet
Rejoicing that they yet can image thee,
And beyond thee, God's heaven, thick-sown with stars.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Dinah Maria Mulock Craik

Dinah Maria Craik (; born Dinah Maria Mulock, also often credited as Miss Mulock or Mrs. Craik) was an English novelist and poet. She is best remembered for her novel John Halifax, Gentleman, which presents the mid-Victorian ideals of English middle-class life.  more…

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    "A Sketch" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 23 Oct. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/7978/a-sketch>.

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