The Barrier by Charles Henry Souter

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For I have been no near -- so near
   That I could hear your heart's sweet rhyme
Singing its song of Love and Fear
   And joy of Youth and scorn of Time!
So near! The fragrance of your breast
   Beset me, bidding me forget
Name, fame and birthright and the rest --
   All things that bound me e'er we met!
So close I needs must hold my breath
   Lest it should shatter in a trice
The web 'twixt you and me and Death,
   Brittle as Love and cold as ice!
And I must school my eager hand
   To meet your hand and tell it nought!
Ah! Resolutions writ in sand!
   Ah! Selfish honor, dearly bought!
I know the soft sound of your tread,
   The sweetness of your loving lip,
And every curve from heel to head,
   From finger-tip to finger-tip!
And yet ---- . . .
   . . . The little space between
(Scarce a hand's breath, a tiny span!)
   Might all the world as well have been,
To part a woman and a man.

First published in The Bulletin, 28 April 1904;
and later in
Many Ladies (And Others) by Charles Souter, 1917.

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on April 28, 2012 9:30 AM.

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