Reserve

By Louise Imogen Guiney 1861–1920
You that are dear, O you above the rest!
Forgive him his evasive moods and cold;
The absence that belied him oft of old,
The war upon sad speech, the desperate jest,
And pity’s wildest gush but half-confessed,
Forgive him! Let your gentle memories hold
Some written word once tender and once bold,
Or service done shamefacedly at best,
Whereby to judge him. All his days he spent,
Like one who with an angel wrestled well,
O’ermastering Love with show of light disdain;
And whatso’er your spirits underwent,
He, wounded for you, worked no miracle
To make his heart’s allegiance wholly plain.

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Poet Louise Imogen Guiney 1861–1920

Subjects Relationships, Love, Men & Women, Romantic Love, Infatuation & Crushes, Unrequited Love, Heartache & Loss

Poetic Terms Sonnet

 Louise Imogen Guiney

Biography

Louise Imogen Guiney is known for her lyrical, Old English-style poems that often recall the literary conventions of seventeenth-century English poetry. Informed by her religious faith, Guiney's works reflect her concern with the Catholic tradition in literature and often emphasize moral rectitude and heroic gallantry. Today Guiney is praised for her scholarship in both her poetry and in her numerous literary and historical . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Relationships, Love, Men & Women, Romantic Love, Infatuation & Crushes, Unrequited Love, Heartache & Loss

Poetic Terms Sonnet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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