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Or have they any sense of why they sing ?
Lightly he laugh’d, as one that read my thought,
“ Eustace,” I said, “ this wonder keeps the house."
For up the porch there grew an Eastern rose,
So rapt, we near’d the house ; but she, a Rose
Into the world without; till close at hand,
“ Ah, one rose, One rose, but one, by those fair fingers cull’d, Were worth a hundred kisses press'd on lips Less exquisite than thine.”
She look’d: but all Suffused with blushes-neither self-possessid Nor startled, but betwixt this mood and that, Divided in a graceful quiet-paused, And dropt the branch she held, and turning, wound Her looser hair in braid, and stirr'd her lips For some sweet answer, though no answer came, Nor yet refused the rose, but granted it, And moved away, and left me, statue-like, In act to render thanks.
I, that whole day, Saw her no more, although I linger’d there Till every daisy slept, and Love’s white star Beam'd thro’ the thicken’d cedar in the dusk.
So home we went, and all the livelong way With solemn gibe did Eustace banter me. “ Now,” said he, “ will you climb the top of Art. You cannot fail but work in hues to dim The Titianic Flora. Will you match My Juliet ? you, not you,- the Master, Love A more ideal Artist he than all.”
So home I went, but could not sleep for joy, Reading her perfect features in the gloom, Kissing the rose she gave me o'er and o’er, And shaping faithful record of the glance That graced the giving-such a noise of life Swarm'd in the golden présent, such a voice Call’d to me from the years to come, and such A length of bright horizon rimm'd the dark. And all that night I heard the watchmen peal The sliding season : all that night I heard The heavy clocks knolling the drowsy hours. The drowsy hours, dispensers of all good, O'er the mute city stole with folded wings, Distilling odours on me as they went To greet their fairer sisters of the East.
Love at first sight, first-born, and heir to all, Made this night thus. Henceforward squall nor storm Could keep me from that Eden where she dwelt. Light pretexts drew me: sometimes a Dutch love For tulips ; then for roses, moss or musk, To grace my city-rooms; or fruits and cream Served in the weeping elm ; and more and more A word could bring the colour to my cheek ; A thought would fill my eyes with happy dew; Love trebled life within me, and with each The year increased.
The daughters of the year, One after one, thro' that still garden pass'd : Each garlanded with her peculiar flower Danced into light, and died into the shade ; And each in passing touch'd with some new grace Or seem'd to touch her, so that day by day, Like one that never can be wholly known, Her beauty grew ; till Autumn brought an hour For Eustace, when I heard his deep “I will,” Breathed, like the covenant of a God, to hold From thence thro' all the worlds : but I rose up