Research: Poetry

Been reading a lot of vintage love poems for use in the current M/M Regency Romance I’m writing, because one of my characters apparently collects them. This is one of my favorites, a rare little gem: I can only find 3 primary sources of this anywhere, two of which were only as partial quotes from the late 1800s, and by 1936, in the book where I found it, it was Author Unknown.

IS IT A SIN TO LOVE THEE?
Is it a sin to love thee? Then my soul is deeply dyed,
For my lifeblood, as it gushes, takes its crimson from love’s tide;
And I feel its wave roll o’er me and the blushes mount my brow
And my pulses quicken wildly, as the love dreams come and go;
I feel my spirit’s weakness; I know my spirit’s power;
I have felt my proud heart struggle in temptation’s trying hour;
Yet, amid the din of conflict, bending o’er life’s hallowed shrine,
Yielding all, my soul had murmured, I am thine, forever thine!

Is it a sin to love thee? What were existence worth,
Bereft of all the heaven that lingers here on earth!
Friendship’s smiles, like gleams of sunlight, 
shed their feeling o’er the heart,
But the soul still cries for something more than friendship can impart.
Frozen heart, like ice-bound eyries, that no summer ray can melt,
Vainly boast their power to conquer what their hearts have never felt;
But envy not their glory, ‘mid the rapture that is mine,
When with earnest soul I tell thee, I am thine, forever thine!

Is it a sin to love thee? Gentle voices round me fall,
And I press warm hearts about me – but I’ve given thee my all.
What though stern fate divides us, and our hands, not hearts, be riven-
My all of earth thou hast-wilt more? I dare not offer heaven!
But in some blessed moment, when our dark eyes flashing meet,
When I feel thy power so near me, feel thy heart’s quick pulses beat,
Then I know—May God forgive me!—I would everything resign
All I have, or all I hope for—to be thine—forever thine.

Is it a sin to love thee? I remember well the hour
When we would our love to conquer, resist temptation’s power;
When I felt my heart was breaking and my all of life was gone;
When I wept the hour I met thee, and the hour I was born;
But a hidden storm was raging, and amid the muffled din
I flung my arms upon thy bosom, with thy warm hands clasped in mine,
I smiled through tears and murmured: I am thine, forever thine.
Is it a sin to love thee? with love’s signet on thy brow?
Though thy lot be dark as Hades, I’ll cling to thee as now;
Not mine the heart to fail thee, when other cheeks grow pale;
We have shared the storm together; I’ll stand by thee trough the gale.
Though our bark may drift asunder, yet, with true hearts beating high,
Let the golden sunlight cheer us, or the angry storm clouds fly.
From our helms with steady brightness our light shall shine,
and the watchwords on our pennons shall be-thine, forever thine.

Is it a sin to love thee? When I bend the knee in prayer,
And before a High Omniscience my burdened heart lay bare,
On the breath of love to heaven ascends thy blessed name,
And I plead weak and erring nature, if loving thee be shame.
Heaven know ’tis no light sacrifice I’ve offered up to thee,
No gilded dream of fancy, but my being’s destiny.
Since our fates we may not conquer here, divide thy lot from mine-
In the starlit world above us, call me thine—forever thine!

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