O, Give Me Strength to Take

Thy love’s as tender as the drooping rose that
          sadly says to earth:
“No more have I the strength to take what
          thou giv’st me;”
But unlike her, alas, thy love’s complaint of
“Thou hast no strength to give what I demand
          of thee.”

Thy love hath heard the many whispered prom-
          ises of every soul;
His birth methinks is nigh coeval with the
          birth of time:
He lives in death throughout the ages, and his
Is hidden in the faded flowers from every

His soul is deeper than the sea and deepest cav-
          erns in its bed;
’T is higher than the highest sky above our
’T is purer than the morning dew a-dripping
          from the salvias red;
’T is mightier than the four winds, blowing
          from every zone.

This love hath offered me the keys of all his halls
          and towers,
And to my heart with clinging kisses he ap-
But, ah, forgive me God! must I the sweetest
Refuse because they do not grow in Beauty’s

From Myrtle and Myrrh (The Gorham Press, 1905) by Ameen Rihani. This poem is in the public domain.