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Up to the fruit-shaped, perfect chin it lifts !
MY LAST DUCHESS.
THAT 's my last Duchess painted on the wall,
For calling up that spot of joy. She had
SONG FROVI "PIPPA PASSES.
GIVE her but a least excuse to love me !
If fortune fixed her as my lady there,
(“ Hist!"-said Kate the queen ;
“'T is only a page that carols unseen,
Is she wronged ?–To the rescue of her honour,
My heart !
Merely an earth to cleave, a sea to part.
(“ Nay, list !”—bade Kate the queen ; And still cried the maiden, binding her tresses,
“'T is only a page that carols unseen, “ Fitting your hawks their jesses !")
I SHE should never have looked at me if she meant I
should not love her ! There are plenty .. men, you call such, I suppose . .
she may discover All her soul to, if she pleases, and yet leave much as she
found them : But I 'm not so, and she knew it when she fixed me,
glancing round them.
What? To fix me thus meant nothing ? But I can't tell
(there's my weakness) What her look said :—no vile cant, sure, about “need
to strew the bleakness “Of some lone shore with its pearl-seed, that the sea feels"
-no “strange yearning "That such souls have, most to lavish where there is
chance of least returning."
Oh, we ’re sunk enough here, God knows ! but not quite
so sunk that moments, Sure tho' seldom, are denied us, when the spirit's true
endowments Stand out plainly from its false ones, and apprise it if
pursuing Or the right way or the wrong way, to its triumph or
There are flashes struck from midnights, there are fire.
fames noondays kindle, Whereby piled-up honours perish, whereby swollen
ambitions dwindle, While just this or that poor impulse, which for once had
play unstified, Seems the sole work of a life-time that away the rest have
Doubt you if, in some such moment, as she fixed me, she
felt clearly, Ages past the soul existed, here an age 't is resting
And hence fleets again for ages : while the true end, sole
and single, It stops here for is, this love-way, with some other soul
VI Else it loses what it lived for, and eternally must lose it ; Better ends may be in prospect, deeper blisses (if you
choose it), But this life's end and this love-bliss have been lost here,
Doubt you whether This she felt as, looking at me, mine and her souls rushed
VII Oh, observe ! Of course, next moment, the world's
honours, in derision, Trampled out the light for ever. Never fear but there's
provision Of the devil's to quench knowledge, lest we walk the
earth in rapture ! - Making those who catch God's secret, just so much
more prize their capture !
Such am I : the secret 's mine now! She has lost me, I
have gained her; Her soul 's mine : and thus, grown perfect, I shall pass
my life's remainder. Life will just hold out the proving both our powers,
alone and blended : And then, come next life quickly! This world's use will
have been ended.