A Reprimand by Frances Fuller Victor

Behold my soul? She sits so far above you

Your wildest dream has never glanced so high;

Yet in the old-time when you said, "I love you,"

How fairly we were mated, eye to eye

How long we dallied on in flowery meadows,

By languid lakes of purely sensuous dreams,

Steeped in enchanted mists, beguiled by shadows,

Casting sweet flowers upon loitering streams,

My memory owns, and yours; mine with deep shame,

Yours with a sigh that life is not the same.

What parted us, to leave you in the valley

And send me struggling to the mountain-top?

Too weak for duty, even love failed to rally

The manhood that should float your pinions up.

On my spent feet are many half-healed bruises,

My limbs are wasted with their heavy toil,

But I have learned adversity's "sweet uses,"

And brought my soul up pure through every soil;

Have I no right to scorn the man's dead power

That leaves you far below me at this hour?

Scorn you I do, while pitying even more

The ignoble weakness of a strength debased.

Do I yet mourn the faith that died of yore—

The trust by timorous treachery effaced?

Through all, and over all, my soul mounts free

To heights of peace you cannot hope to gain,

Sings to the stars its mountain minstrelsy,

And smiles down proudly on your murky plain;

'Tis vain to invite you—yet come up, come up,

Conquer your way toward the mountain-top!