John Masefield


Since I have learned Love's shining alphabet,
    And spelled in ink what 's writ in me in flame,
And borne her sacred image richly set
    Here in my heart to keep me quit of shame;

Since I have learned how wise and passing wise
    Is the dear friend whose beauty I extol,
And know how sweet a soul looks through the eyes,
    That are so pure a window to her soul;

Since I have learned how rare a woman shows
    As much in all she does as in her looks,
And seen the beauty of her shame the rose,
    And dim the beauty writ about in books;

All I have learned, and can learn, shows me this—
How scant, how slight, my knowledge of her is.