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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

Then shall I Triumph

By Charles de Kay (1848–1935)

[From The Love Poems of Louis Barnaval. 1883.]

WHEN we are touched by wrinkled age

Your bosom, now ineffable

As God’s most pure, unwritten page,

No longer glorious in swell,

War on the ravished eyes will wage

Nor still of other beauties tell.

Your lips will pinch, your neck turn sallow,

Your eyesight fail and cheeks grow hollow.

Then shall I triumph, then those lips

I’ll press with bliss by so much clearer

As from your frame the beauty slips

And to your eyes the soul is nearer.

Thus have you seen of seaworn ships

Crumbled in wreck the lifelong steerer

Feel for the hulk more love and pride

Then e’er for yachts that brave the tide.