Love and Pride by Sarah Stickney Ellis

Proud Beauty, they tell me ’tis love
That kindles the fire of thine eye;
But when did affection ere prove
A passion so towering and high?

They say that a rival has won
Her way to the heart that was thine.
No wonder; when thou canst put on
An aspect so far from divine.

It is not — it cannot be love.
Affection is lowly, and deep;
All groundless suspicion above.
It knows but to trust or to weep.

To weep such sad tears of distress,
As wither the cheek where they fall.
Thine is not an anguish like this,
The bitterest anguish of all.

Thou know’st not the meekness of love;
How it suffers, and yet can be still.
How the calm on its surface may prove
What sorrow the bosom can fill.

No; thine is a transient shock,
Of feeling less tender and kind.
Like the dash of the wave on the rock,
It leaves not a vestige behind.

Proud Beauty, this comfort then take,
Whatever misfortune betide,
Believe me, that heart will not break
Whose love is less deep than its pride.

From: Ellis, Sarah, Irish Girl: and Other Poems, 1844, James Langley: New York, pp. 43-44.

Date: 1844

By: Sarah Stickney Ellis (1799-1872)

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