Menken, Adah Isaacs
Speak to me tenderly.
Think of me lovingly.
Let your soft hands smooth back my hair.
Take my cold, tear-stained face up to yours.
Let my lonely life creep into your warm bosom, knowing
no other rest but this.
Let me question you, while sweet Faith and Trust are
folding their white robes around me.
Thus am I purified, even to your love, that came like
John the Baptist in the Wildernesses of Sin.
You read the starry heavens, and lead me forth.
But tell me if, in this world's Judea, there comes never
quiet when once the heart awakes?
Why must it ever hush Love back?
Must it only labor, strive, and ache?
Has it no reward but this?
Has it no inheritance but to bear--and break?
Oh, answer me!