Elizabeth Barrett Browning

The Lady’s Yes

" Yes!" I answered you last night;
    " No!" this morning, Sir, I say!
Colours, seen by candle-light,
    Will not look the same by day.

When the tabors played their best,
    Lamps above, and laughs below —
Love me sounded like a jest,
    Fit for Yes or fit for Nome recoils on you!

Learn to win a lady's faith
    Nobly, as the thing is high ;
Bravely, as for life and death —
    With a loyal gravity.

Lead her from the festive boards,
    Point her to the starry skies,
Guard her, by your truthful words,
    Pure from courtship's flatteries.

By your truth she shall be true —
    Ever true, as wives of yore —
And her Yes, once said to you,
    SHALL be Yes for evermore.

spoken = Emily Jordan