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Sara Teasdale, comp. (1884–1933).
The Answering Voice: One Hundred Love Lyrics by Women. 1917.

A Woman’s Question

Adelaide Anne Procter

BEFORE I trust my fate to thee,

Or place my hand in thine,

Before I let thy future give

Color and form to mine,—

Before I peril all for thee, question thy soul

to-night, for me.

I break all slighter bonds, nor feel

One shadow of regret:

Is there one link within the past

That holds thy spirit yet?

Or is thy faith as clear and free as that which

I can pledge to thee?…

Is there within thy heart a need

That mine cannot fulfill?

One chord that any other hand

Could better wake or still?

Speak now, lest at some future day, my whole

life wither and decay….

Couldst thou withdraw thy hand one day,

And answer to my claim

That fate, and that to-day’s mistake,

Not thou, had been to blame?

Some soothe their conscience thus; but thou—oh,

surely thou wilt warn me now!