The Enquiry [poem by Charles Harpur]

[Editor: This poem by Charles Harpur was published in The Bushrangers; A Play in Five Acts, and Other Poems (1853).]

The Enquiry.

O say, if into sudden storm
Some future cloud we may not shun
Should burst, and Love’s bright world deform,
His and your Poet leaving one
Scorning and scorned of heartless men, —
Belovëd, would you love me then?

Stung by the world’s eternal guile,
Should the defiance of despair
Plant on my cheek its bitter smile,
And writhe so long and whiten there
That it might freshen ne’er again, —
Belovëd, would you love me then?

Should long, long years of absence scowl
And ’twixt us under heaven’s wide cope,
Should regions spread or oceans roll
That question thus might even Hope —
“How can you ever meet again?”
Belovëd, would you love me then?



Source:
Charles Harpur, The Bushrangers; A Play in Five Acts, and Other Poems, Sydney: W. R. Piddington, 1853, page 105

Editor’s notes:
cope = a long cloak, especially as worn by a bishop or priest on a ceremonial occasion; a cloak-like covering or a covering in general (e.g. “beneath the dark sky’s starry cope” in section XV of Shelley’s “The Revolt of Islam”)

ne’er = never

’twixt = betwixt, between (can be given either with or without an apostrophe)

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