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Be sure that each renewed the vow,
But next day passed, and next day yet,
And still, as love's brief morning wore,
They thought it would work infallibly,
And to press a point while these oppose
Meantime, worse fates than a lover's fate,
And she—she watched the square like a book
When the picture was reached the book was done, And she turned from the picture at night to scheme Of tearing it out for herself next sun.
So weeks grew months, years ; gleam by gleam The glory dropped from their youth and love, And both perceived they had dreamed a dream ;
Which hovered as dreams do, still above :
One day as the lady saw her youth
The brow so puckered, the chin so peaked, -
Fronting her silent in the glass-
“ Him, the Carver, a hand to aid,
“Let Robbia's craft so apt and strange
“ Make me a face on the window there,
“ And let me think that it may beguile
“ To say, " What matters it at the end ? "I did no more while my heart was warm "" Than does that image, my pale-faced friend.'
“Where is the use of the lip's red charm,
“ Unless we turn, as the soul knows how, “ The earthly gift to an end divine ? “ A lady of clay is as good, I trow.” . But long ere Robbia's cornice, fine With flowers and fruits which leaves enlace, Was set where now is the empty shrine(And, leaning out of a bright blue space, As a ghost might lean from a chink of sky, The passionate pale lady's faceEyeing ever, with earnest eye And quick-turned neck at its breathless stretch, Some one who ever is passing by-) The Duke had sighed like the simplest wretch In Florence, “ Youth—my dream escapes ! " Will its record stay?" And he bade them fetch
Some subtle moulder of brazen shapes “ Can the soul, the will, die out of a man “ Ere his body finds the grave that gapes ? “ John of Douay shall effect my plan, “ Set me on horseback here aloft. “ Alive, as the crafty sculptor can, “ In the very square I have crossed so oft : “ That men may admire, when future suns “ Shall touch the eyes to a purpose soft, “While the mouth and the brow stay brave in bronze“ Admire and say, 'When he was alive « « How he would take his pleasure once !' " And it shall go hard but I contrive “ To listen the while, and laugh in my tomb " At idleness which aspires to strive."
So! While these wait the trump of doom,
Still, I suppose, they sit and ponder
Only they see not God, I know,
Burn upward each to his point of bliss-
I hear you reproach, “But delay was best,
Must a game be played for the sake of pelf ?
The true has no value beyond the sham :
Stake your counter as boldly every whit,
If you choose to play !— is my principle.
The counter, our lovers staked, was lost
Is, the unlit lamp and the ungirt loin,
LOVE AMONG THE RUINS.
WHERE the quiet coloured end of evening smiles,
Miles and miles,
As they crop-
(So they say)
Ages since, Held his court in, gathered councils, wielding far
Peace or war.
Now,—the country does not even boast a tree,
As you see,
From the hills
Up like fires