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I have lived this life as the skeptic lives it;
    I have said the sweetness was less than the gall;
Praising, nor cursing, the Hand that gives it,
    I have drifted aimlessly through it all.
I have scoffed at the tale of a so-called heaven;
    I have laughed at the thought of a Supreme Friend;
I have said that it only to man was given
    To live, to endure; and to die was the end.

But I know that a good God reigneth,
    Generous-hearted and kind and true;
Since unto a worm like me he deigneth
    To send so royal a gift as you.
Bright as a star you gleam on my bosom,
    Sweet as a rose that the wild bee sips;
And I know, my own, my beautiful blossom,
    That none but a God could mould such lips.

And I believe, in the fullest measure
    That ever a strong man's heart could hold,
In all the tales of heavenly pleasure
    By poets sung or by prophets told;
For in the joy of your shy, sweet kisses,
    Your pulsing touch and your languid sigh
I am filled and thrilled with better blisses
    Than ever were claimed for souls on high.

And now I have faith in all the stories
    Told of the beauties of unseen lands;
Of royal splendors and marvellous glories
    Of the golden city not made with hands
For the silken beauty of falling tresses,
    Of lips all dewy and cheeks aglow,
With--what the mind in a half trance guesses
    Of the twin perfection of drifts of snow;

Of limbs like marble, of thigh and shoulder
    Carved like a statue in high relief--
These, as the eyes and the thoughts grow bolder,
    Leave no room for an unbelief.
So my lady, my queen most royal,
    My skepticism has passed away;
If you are true to me, true and loyal,
    I will believe till the Judgment-day.

       - Ella Wheeler Wilcox

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