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12. And witness, moreover ... Ah, but wait !
I spy the loop whence an arrow shoots ! It may be for yourself, when you meditate,
That you grieve — for slain ruth, murdered truth : “ Though falsehood escape in the end, what boots ? How truth would have triumphed !” — you sigh too
13. Ay, who would have triumphed like you, I say!
Well, it is lost now; well, you must bear, Abide and grow fit for a better day:
You should hardly grudge, could I be your judge ! But hush! For you, can be no despair :
There's amends : 't is a secret : hope and pray!
14. For I was true at least — O, true enough!
And, dear, truth is not as good as it seems! Commend me to conscience ! Idle stuff!
Much help is in mine, as I mope and pine, And skulk through day, and scowl in my dreams
At my swan's obtaining the crow's rebuff.
Men tell me of truth now — “ False !” I cry:
Of beauty —“ A mask, friend! Look beneath !” We take our own method, the Devil and I,
With pleasant and fair and wise and rare : And the best we wish to what lives, is - death ;
Which even in wishing, perhaps we lie !
16. Far better commit a fault and have done —
As you, dear !—forever; and choose the pure, And look where the healing waters run,
And strive and strain to be good again, And a place in the other world insure,
All glass and gold, with God for its sun.
Misery! What shall I say or do ?
I cannot advise, or, at least, persuade :
No whit of the wrong: you endured too long,
Will live the old life out and chance the new.
And your sentence is written all the same,
And I can do nothing, - pray, perhaps : But somehow the world pursues its game,
If I pray, if I curse, — for better or worse : And my faith is torn to a thousand scraps,
And my heart feels ice while my words breathe flame.
Dear, I look from my hiding-place.
Are you still so fair ? Have you still the eyes ? Be happy! Add but the other grace,
Be good! Why want what the angels vaunt ? I knew you once : but in Paradise,
If we meet, I will pass nor turn my face.