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That is her book-shelf, this her bed ;
She plucked that piece of geranium-flower, Beginning to die too, in the glass;
Little has yet been changed, I think : The shutters are shut, no light may pass
Save t'vo long rays thro' the hinge's chink.
old when she died ! Perhaps she had scarcely heard my name; It was not her time to love ; beside,
Her life had many a hope and aim,
And now was quiet, now astir,
And the sweet white brow is all of her.
Is it too late then, Evelyn Hope ?
What, your soul was pure and true, The good stars met in your horoscope,
Made you of spirit, fire and dewAnd, just because I was thrice as old
And our paths in the world diverged so wide, Each was nought to each, must I be told ?
We were fellow mortals, nought beside ?
No, indeed! for God above
Is great to grant, as mighty to make, And creates the love to reward the love :
I claim you still, for my own love's sake! Delayed it may be for more lives yet,
Through worlds I shall traverse, not a few : Much is to learn, much to forget
Ere the time be come for taking you.
But the time will come, at last it will,
When, Evelyn Hope, what meant (I shall say) In the lower earth, in the years long still,
That body and soul so pure and gay? Why your hair was amber, I shall divine,
mouth of your own geranium's redAnd what you would do with me, in fine,
In the new life come in the old one's stead.
I have lived (I shall say) so much since then,
Given up myself so many times, Gained me the gains of various men,
Ransacked the ages, spoiled the climes; Yet one thing, one, in my soul's full scope,
Either I missed or itself missed me : And I want and find you, Evelyn Hope !
What is the issue ? let us see !
I loved you, Evelyn, all the while !
My heart seemed full as it could hold ; There was place and to spare for the frank young
smile, And the red young mouth, and the hair's young
gold. So hush,- I will give you this leaf to keep :
See, I shut it inside the sweet cold hand ! There, that is our secret : go to sleep !
You will wake, and remember, and understand.
AH, did you once see Shelley plain,
And did he stop and speak to you, And did you speak to him again?
How strange it seems, and new!
But you were living before that,
And also you are living after ; And the memory I started at
My starting moves your laughter !
I crossed a moor, with a name of its own
And a certain use in the world, no doubt, Yet a hand's-breadth of it shines alone
'Mid the blank miles round about :
For there I picked up on the heather
And there I put inside my breast A moulted feather, an eagle-feather !
Well, I forget the rest.
"We shall soon lose a celebrated building."
i No, for I 'll save it ! Seven years since,
I passed through Paris, stopped a day To see the baptism of your Prince;
Saw, made my bow, and went my way. Walking the heat and headache off,
I took the Seine-side, you surmise, Thought of the Congress, Gortschakoff,
Cavour's appeal and Buol's replies, So sauntered till—what met my eyes ?
Only the Doric little Morgue !
The dead-house where you show your drowned : Petrarch's Vaucluse makes proud the Sorgue,
Your Morgue has made the Seine renowned. One pays one's debt in such a case ;
I plucked up heart and entered,-stalked, Keeping a tolerable face
Compared with some whose cheeks were chalked : Let them! No Briton 's to be baulked !
First came the silent gazers ; next,
A screen of glass, we ’re thankful for ; Last, the sight's self, the sermon's text,
The three men who did most abhor Their life in Paris yesterday,
So killed themselves : and now, enthroned
Fronting me, waiting to be owned.
Poor men, God made, and all for that!
The reverence struck me ; o'er each head Religiously was hung its hat,
Each coat dripped by the owner's bed, Sacred from touch : each had his berth,
His bounds, his proper place of rest,
Who last night tenanted on earth
Some arch, where twelve such slept abreast,Unless the plain asphalte seemed best.
How did it happen, my poor boy?
You wanted to be Buonaparte And have the Tuileries for toy,
And could not, so it broke your heart
Were, red as blood, a socialist,
You ’ve gained what no Republic missed ?
And this—why, he was red in vain,
Or black,-poor fellow that is blue ! What fancy was it, turned your brain ?
Oh, women were the prize for you! Money gets women, cards and dice
Get money, and ill-luck gets just The copper couch and one clear nice
Cool squirt of water o'er your bust, The right thing to extinguish lust!
It 's wiser being good than bad ;
It's safer being meek than fierce :
My own hope is, a sun will pierce
That, after Last, returns the First,
That what began best, can't end worst, Nor what God blessed once, prove accurst.