Patrick Regan has kindly shared the material from his George Heath site with readers of the Victorian Web, who may wish to consult the original.
Long years have trod the wake of years,
And scores have wooed and mated,
And friends and beaux have come and gone,
And I have watched and waited, —
A woman with a woman's heart
You've danced attendance on my suit,
You've given me smiles and sighing;
You've hinted, "Some folks would not care
If other folks were dying."
I've long discerned the prisoned love
Your queerness underlying:
And yet you never spoke, although
You gave me signs sufficient!
It might be diffidence: perhaps
You thought my love deficient;
You may have deemed your home too mean,
Your income inefficient.
I know not. Yet you might have seen
How much I liked and prized you:
Sometimes I thought you faint of heart,
And then I half despised you;
Then blamed myself and bowed my heart,
And — all but idolized you.
And this is all the reason why,
I sometimes vexed and teased you,
Now slighted, tantalized, perplexed,
Now hovered round and pleased you;
Now touched your pride, and now your heart,
First roused and then appeased you.
The reason why I carried on
At times some mad flirtation,
Was just to draw from helpless love,
To force from desperation,
To win, surprise, extract, or squeeze
The longed-for declaration.
And now the ladies' turn has come,
And, if you will, I'll take you;
I'll quit my airs and frippery,
And do my best to make you
A little, earnest, homely wife,
And love, and ne'er forsake you;
I'll gladly yield the reins to you,
And cease to plague and try you;
I'll share your lot, be it weal or woe,
And stand unchanging by you:
Ay, give ye all I am and have,
If that will satisfy you!
Last modified 4 September 2002