The Husband Of To-Day

By Edith Nesbit

Eyes caught by beauty, fancy by eyes caught;
Sweet possibilities, question, and wonder —
What did her smile say? What has her brain thought?
Her standard, what? Am I o’er it or under?
Flutter in meeting — in absence dreaming;
Tremor in greeting — for meeting scheming;
Caught by the senses, and yet all through
True with the heart of me, sweetheart, to you.

Only the brute in me yields to the pressure
Of longings inherent — of vices acquired;
All this, my darling, is folly — not pleasure,
Only my fancy — not soul — has been fired.
Sense thrills exalted, thrills to love-madness;
Fancy grown sad becomes almost love-sadness;
And yet love has with it nothing to do,
Love is fast fettered, sweetheart, to you.

Lacking fresh fancies, time flags — grows wingless;
Life without folly would fail — fall flat;
But the love that lights life, and makes death’s self stingless —
You, and you only, have wakened that.
Sweet are all women, you are the best of them;
You are so dear because dear are the rest of them;
After each fancy has sprung, grown, and died,
Back I come ever, dear, to your side.
The strongest of passions — in joy — seeks the new,
But in grief I turn ever, sweetheart, to you.

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