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Short poem

Robert Bridges (1844-1930)

The Affliction of Richard

              1    Love not too much. But how,
              2When thou hast made me such,
              3And dost thy gifts bestow,
              4How can I love too much?
              5    Though I must fear to lose,
              6And drown my joy in care,
              7With all its thorns I choose
              8The path of love and prayer.

              9    Though thou, I know not why,
            10Didst kill my childish trust,
            11That breach with toil did I
            12Repair, because I must:
            13    And spite of frighting schemes,
            14With which the fiends of Hell
            15Blaspheme thee in my dreams,
            16So far I have hoped well.

            17    But what the heavenly key,
            18What marvel in me wrought
            19Shall quite exculpate thee,
            20I have no shadow of thought.
            21    What am I that complain?
            22The love, from which began
            23My question sad and vain,
            24Justifies thee to man.


24] Echoing the opening of John Milton's Paradise Lost, Book I, 24-26: "That to the highth of this great argument / I may assert Eternal Providence, / And justify the ways of God to men."

Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: Poetical Works of Robert Bridges with The Testament of Beauty but excluding the eight drama, 2nd edn. (London: Geoffrey Cumberlege, Oxford University Press, 1953): 302-03.
First publication date: 1894
Publication date note: Shorter Poems, Book V
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: 2003
Recent editing: 1:2003/8/11

Form: trimeter octaves
Rhyme: ababcdcd

Other poems by Robert Bridges