Alice Duer Miller

(28 July 1874 - 22 August 1942 / New York City, New York)

After a Year


YES, you have guessed it. Do not blame me, dear.
Indeed, I did not dream, 0 tender eyes,
When first we met, that in a little year
My words would dim you with pain's dumb surprise.

Do not reproach me, for I suffer too ­
An agony of shame and self-contempt;
And know that I shall miss, far more than you,
The lost illusions of this dream we've dreamt.

Why did you ever learn to love me, child?
If you had let me only be your friend­
Instead of weeping, had you only smiled
Coldly, I might have worshipped to the end.

Worthless and aimless, what I was you knew,
By all the wretched past to you confessed;
The one good in me was my love of you,
And that has proved as fickle as the rest.

Ah ! dear, the worst wrong in this world of shame,
The hardest question to explain, is why
Women like you, who barely know sin's name,
Can be so wounded by such men as I.

Submitted: Thursday, March 15, 2012

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