I dare not ask to kiss,
I dare not beg a smile,
Lest having that, or this,
I might grow proud the while.

No, no, the utmost share
Of my desire shall be
Only to kiss the air
That lately kissèd thee.

This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on August 24, 2013. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive. This poem is in the public domain.

When I can dare at last to speak your name
It shall not be with hushed and reverent speech
As if your spirit were beyond the reach
Of homely merry things, kind jest or game.
Death shall not hide you in some jewelled shrine
Nor set you in marmoreal pomp apart,
You who still share the ingle of my heart,
Participant in every thought of mine.

Your name, when I can dare to speak it, dear,
Shall still be linked with laughter and with joy.
No solemn panegyrist shall destroy
My image of you, gay, familiar
As in old happy days,—lest I discover
Too late I’ve won a saint but lost a lover. 

This poem is in the public domain.