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Only One

by Ellen P. Allerton

Only one heart to beat with mine—
That heart to be loving, and warm, and true,
Shedding its tenderness, rich as wine
Pressed from grapes of the Rhenish vine,
Yet delicate, pure, as morning dew.

Only one arm to lean upon,
As I thread the gorges, or mount the steeps—
To steady me when the heights are won,
To pillow my head when the day is done,
And over my eyes the darkness creeps.

Only one love, told o'er and o'er—
That love to be quenchless—a deathless flame—
Yet, like the ocean that laps the shore
In a thousand forms and ten thousand more,
To be ever changing, yet ever the same!

Only one love—do I smile or weep,
Do I float with the current, or bravely swim
Against wind and tide—still let me keep,
While the years drift by in their onward sweep,
But this, when life and its hopes grow dim.

One other love! To its breadth is this
As a rift in a cloud to the boundless blue—
As a passionate, transient throb of bliss
To infinite billows of happiness—
To boundless seas as a drop of dew!

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