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“While I should make rejoinder"—(then
It was, no doubt, you ceased that least Light pressure of my arm in yours)
I can conceive of cheaper cures “For a yawning fit o'er books and men. “What? All I am, was, and mig "All, books taught, art brought, life's whole
strife, “Painful results since precious, just
“Were fitly exchanged, in wise disgust, “For two cheeks freshened by youth and sea ? “All for a nosegay!- what came first;
"With fields on flower, untried each side; “I rally, need my books and men,
“And find a nosegay': drop it, then, “No match yet made for best or worst!" That ended me. You judged the porch
We left by, Norman ; took our look At sea and sky; wondered so few
Find out the place for air and view; Remarked the sun began to scorch; Descended, soon regained the baths,
And then, good-bye! Years ten since then: Ten years! We meet: you tell me, now,
By a window-seat for that cliff-brow, On carpet-stripes for those sand-paths. Now I may speak: you fool, for all
Your lore! Who made things plain in vain? What was the sea for? What, the grey
Sad church, that solitary day,
No feat which, done, would make time break, And let us pent-up creatures through
Into eternity, our due?
No wise beginning, here and now,
What cannot grow complete (earth's feat) And heaven must finish, there and then?
No tasting earth's true food for men,
O the sole spark from God's life at strife
The limits here? For us and love,
Good unto good again, in vain?
I loved, with faculties to seek:
Let the mere star-fish in his vault
Crawl in a wash of weed, indeed,
He, whole in body and soul, outstrips
Is dwarfed and dies, since here's its sphere. The devil laughed at you in his sleeve!
You knew not? That I well believe; Or you had saved two souls: nay, four. For Stephanie sprained last night her wrist,
Ankle or something. “Pooh," cry you? At any rate she danced, all say,
Vilely; her vogue has had its day. Here comes my husband from his whist.
LERE was I with my arm and heart
While mine, to repay it ... vainest vaunt,
Had her lover, that's lost, love's proof to show! But I cannot show it; you cannot speak
From the churchyard neither, miles removed, Though I feel by a pulse within my cheek,
Which stabs and stops, that the woman I loved Needs help in her grave and finds none near,
Wants warmth from the heart which sends it-so!
Did I speak once angrily, all the drear days
You lived, you woman I loved so well, Who married the other? Blame or praise,
Where was the use then? Time would tell, And the end declare what man for you,
What woman for me, was the choice of God.
I used to sit and look at my life
A great stone stopped it: oh, the strife
In my life's midcurrent, thwarting God! But either I thought, “They may churn and chide
“Awhile, my waves which came for their joy “And found this horrible stone full-tide:
“Yet I see just a thread escape, deploy “Through the evening-country, silent and safe,
“And it suffers no more till it finds the sea.' Or else I would think, “ Perhaps some night “When new things happen, a meteor-ball
“May slip through the sky in a line of light,
“And earth breathe hard, and landmarks fall, “And my waves no longer champ nor chafe, “Since a stone will have rolled from its place:
let be!" But, dead! All's done with: wait who may,
Watch and wear and wonder who will. Oh, my whole life that ends to-day!
Oh, my soul's sentence, sounding still, “The woman is dead that was none of his;
“And the man that was none of hers may go!" There's only the past left: worry that!
Wreak, like a bull, on the empty coat, Rage, its late wearer is laughing at!
Tear the collar to rags, having missed his throat; Strike stupidly on—“This, this and this,
“Where I would that a bosom received the blow!" I ought to have done more: once my speech,
And once your answer, and there, the end, And Edith was henceforth out of reach!
Why, men do more to deserve a friend, Be rid of a foe, get rich, grow wise,
Nor, folding their arms, stare fate in the face.
And borne you away to a rock for us two,
Then changed to myself again—"I slew “Myself in that moment; a ruffian lies
"Somewhere: your slave, see, born in his place!" What did the other do? You be judge!
Look at us, Edith! Here are we both! Give him his six whole years: I grudge
None of the life with you, nay, loathe Myself that I grudged his start in advance
Of me who could overtake and pass. But, as if he loved you! No, not he,
Nor anyone else in the world, 'tis plain:
Who ever heard that another, free
As I, young, prosperous, sound and sane, Poured life out, proffered it—“Half a glance
“Of those eyes of yours and I drop the glass !" Handsome, were you? 'Tis more than they held,
More than they said; I was 'ware and watched: I was the 'scapegrace, this rat belled
The cat, this fool got his whiskers scratched: The others? No head that was turned, no heart
Broken, my lady, assure yourself! Each soon made his mind up; so and so
Married a dancer, such and such
Or maundered, unable to do much,
While, hid in the closet, laid on the shelf, —
So, you looked to the other, who acquiesced; My rival, the proud man,-prize your pink
Of poets! a poet he was! I've guessed: He rhymed you his rubbish nobody read,
Loved you and doved you did not I laugh! There was a prize! But we both were tried.
Oh, heart of mine, marked broad with her mark, Tekel, found wanting, set aside,
Scorned! See, I bleed these tears in the dark Till comfort come and the last be bled:
He? He is tagging your epitaph. If it would only come over again!
-Time to be patient with me, and probe This heart till you punctured the proper vein,
Just to learn what blood is : twitch the robe From that blank lay-figure your fancy draped,
Prick the leathern heart till the-verses spirt ! And late it was easy; late, you walked
Where a friend might meet you; Edith's name