Sonnet V

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BECAUSE I know that there is that in me
Of which thou shouldst be proud, and not ashamed,--
Because I feel one made thy choice should be
Not even by fools and slanderers rashly blamed,--
Because I fear, howe'er thy soul may strive
Against the weakness of that inward pain,
The falsehoods which my enemies contrive
Not always seek to wound thine ear in vain,--
Therefore I sometimes weep, when I should smile,
At all the vain frivolity and sin
Which those who know me not (yet me revile)--
My would-be judges--cast my actions in;
But else their malice hath nor sting nor smart--
For I appeal from them, Beloved, to thine own heart!

© Caroline Norton