Dinah Maria Mulock Craik

Passion Past

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.






WERE I a boy, with a boy's heart-beat
At glimpse of her passing adown the street,
Of a room where she had entered and gone,
Or a page her hand had written on,--
Would all be with me as it was before?
O no, never! no, no, never!
Never any more.

Were I a man, with a man's pulse-throb,
Breath hard and fierce, held down like a sob,
Dumb, yet hearing her lightest word,
Blind, until only her garment stirred:
Would I pour my life like wine on her floor?
No, no, never: never, never!
Never any more.

Gray and withered, wrinkled and marred,
I have gone through the fire and come out unscarred,
With the image of manhood upon me yet,
No shame to remember, no wish to forget:
But could she rekindle the pangs I bore?--
O no, never! thank God, never!
Never any more.

Old and wrinkled, withered and gray,--
And yet if her light step passed to-day,
I should see her face all faces among,
And say,--'Heaven love thee, whom I loved long!
Thou hast lost the key of my heart's door,
Lost it ever, and forever,
Ay, forevermore.'

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