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'T was a time when the heart could show

All-how was earth to know, Neath the mute hand's to-and-fro ?


Dearest, three months ago,
When we loved each other so,

Lived and loved the same

Till an evening came
When a shaft from the devil's bow

Pierced to our ingle-glow,
And the friends were friend and foe!


Not from the heart beneath

'T was a bubble born of breath,
Neither sneer nor vaunt,

Nor reproach nor taunt.
See a word, how it severeth !

Oh, power of life and death
In the tongue, as the Preacher saith!


Woman, and will you cast
For a word, quite off at last

Me, your own, your You,

Since, as truth is true,
I was You all the happy past-

Me do you leave aghast
With the memories We amassed ?

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And the beauteous and the right,

Bear with a moment's spite When a mere mote threats the white !


What of a hasty word ?
In the fleshly heart not stirred

By a worm's pin-prick

Where its roots are quick? See the eye, by a fly's foot blurred

Ear, when a straw is heard Scratch the brain's coat of curd !


Foul be the world or fair
More or less, how can I care?

'T is the world the same

For my praise or blame, And endurance is easy there.

Wrong in the one thing rareOh, it is hard to bear !


Here's the spring back or close,
When the almond-blossom blows;

We shall have the word

In a minor third There is none but the cuckoo knows :

Heaps of the guelder-rose ! I must bear with it, I suppose.


Could but November come,
Were the noisy birds struck dumb

At the warning slash
Of his driver's-lash-

I would laugh like the valiant Thumb

Facing the castle glum And the giant's fee-faw-fum !


Then, were the world well-stripped
Of the gear wherein equipped

We can stand apart,

Heart dispense with heart In the sun, with the flowers unnipped,

Oh, the world's hangings ripped, We were both in a bare-walled crypt !


Each in the crypt would cry
“ But one freezes here ! and why?

« When a heart, as chill,

At my own would thrill “ Back to life, and its fires out-fly?

“ Heart, shall we live or die ? “ The rest ... settle by-and-by!”


So, she'd efface the score,
And forgive me as before.

It is twelve o'clock :

I shall hear her knock
In the worst of a storm's uproar :

I shall pull her through the door, I shall have her for evermore !


FAME. SEE, as the prettiest graves will do in time, Our poet's wants the freshness of its prime; Spite of the sexton's browsing horse, the sods Have struggled through its binding osier rods; Headstone and half-sunk footstone lean awry, Wanting the brick-work promised by-and-by ; How the minute grey lichens, plate o'er plate, Have softened down the crisp-cut name and date!

So, the year 's done with !

(Love me for ever!)
All March begun with,

April's endeavour ;
May-wreaths that bound me

June needs must sever ;
Now snows fall round me,

Quenching June's fever-
(Love me for ever!)



I SAID-Then, dearest, since 't is so,
Since now at length my fate I know,
Since nothing all my

love avails,
Since all, my life seemed meant for, fails,

Since this was written and needs must be-
My whole heart rises up to bless
Your name in pride and thankfulness !
Take back the hope you gave,- I claim

Only a memory of the same,
-And this beside, if you will not blame,

Your leave for one more last ride with me.


My mistress bent that brow of hers;
Those deep dark eyes where pride demurs
When pity would be softening through,
Fixed me a breathing-while or two

With life or death in the balance : right !
The blood replenished me again ;
My last thought was at least not vain :
I and my mistress, side by side
Shall be together, breathe and ride,
So, one day more am I deified.

Who knows but the world may end to-night ?


Hush ! if you saw some western cloud
All billowy-bosomed, over-bowed
By many benedictions-sun's
And moon's and evening star's at once-

And so, you, looking and loving best,
Conscious grew, your passion drew
Cloud, sunset, moonrise, star-shine too,
Down on you, near and yet more near,
Till flesh must fade for heaven was here !
Thus leant she and lingered--joy and fear!

Thus lay she a moment on my breast.


Then we began to ride. My soul
Smoothed itself out, a long-cramped scroll
Freshening and fluttering in the wind.
Past hopes already lay behind.

What need to strive with a life awry?

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