A Woman’s Sonnets: Vii

written by Wilfrid Scawen Blunt

A Woman’s Sonnets: Vii

— Wilfrid Scawen Blunt

What have I gained? A little charity?
I never more may dare to fling a stone
At any weakness, nor make boast that I
A better fence or fortitude had shown;
Some learning? I in love's lore have grown wise,
Plucked apples of the evil and the good,
Made one short trespass into Paradise
And known the full taste of forbidden food.
But love, if it be gold, has much alloy,
And I would gladly buy back ignorance,
But for the thought which still is my heart's joy
That once your life grew happier in my hands,
That in your darkest and most troubled hour
I had, like Jesse's son, a soothing power.

About the poet


Wilfrid Scawen Blunt

Second son of Francis Blunt and born into an old Sussex family. When he was eighteen he entered the British diplomatic corps and he worked in Athens, Constantinople, Frankfort, Lisbon, Madrid, Paris and Argentina. After his retirement in 1872 and his marriage to Anne Isabella Noel (the only known descendant of Lord Byron). They first met in Venice and he observed that 'she thought herself plainer than she was'. Together with his wife he travelled on horseback through the Mid-East and lived in Cairo. Blunt opposed British rule in Egypt and was also in favor of Irish home rule. For the latter he even served a prison term. Blunt had an affair with Jane Morris, wife of William Morris and model...

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