A WARNING POEM by Adelaide Anne Procter

Poetry from Legends and Lyrics Second Series.

Adelaide Anne Procter


Place your hands in mine, dear,
With their rose-leaf touch:
If you heed my warning,
It will spare you much.

Ah! with just such smiling
Unbelieving eyes,
Years ago I heard it:-
You shall be more wise.

You have one great treasure
Joy for all your life;
Do not let it perish
In one reckless strife.

Do not venture all, child,
In one frail, weak heart;
So, through any shipwreck,
You may save a part.

Where your soul is tempted
Most to trust your fate,
There, with double caution,
Linger, fear, and wait.

Measure all you give—still
Counting what you take;
Love for love: so placing
Each an equal stake.

Treasure love; though ready
Still to live without.
In your fondest trust, keep
Just one thread of doubt.

Build on no to-morrow;
Love has but to-day:
If the links seem slackening,
Cut the bond away.

Trust no prayer nor promise;
Words are grains of sand;
To keep your heart unbroken,
Hold it in your hand.

That your love may finish
Calm as it begun,
Learn this lesson better,
Dear, than I have done.

Years hence, perhaps, this warning
You shall give again,
In just the self-same words, dear,
And—just as much—in vain.

Adelaide Anne Procter – Legends and Lyrics Second Series

Legends and Lyrics First Series by Adelaide Anne Procter