Слике страница
PDF
ePub

VIII.

I seem to see! We meet and part; 't is brief;
The book I opened keeps a folded leaf,

The very chair I sat on, breaks the rank;
That is a portrait of me on the wall
Three lines, my face comes at so slight a call:

And for all this, one little hour to thank !

IX.

But now, because the hour through years was fixed,
Because our inmost beings met and mixed,

Because thou once hast loved me wilt thou dare
Say to thy soul and Who may list beside,
“ Therefore she is immortally my bride;

“ Chance cannot change my love, nor time impair.

X.

So, what if in the dusk of life that 's left,
I, a tired traveller of my sun bereft,

“Look from my path when, mimicking the same,
“ The fire-fly glimpses past me, come and gone?
“ - Where was it till the sunset? where anon

“ It will be at the sunrise! What's to blame?

XI.

Is it so helpful to thee? Canst thou take
The mimic up, nor, for the true thing's sake,

Put gently by such efforts at a beam ?
Is the remainder of the way so long,
Thou need'st the little solace, thou the strong ?

Watch out thy watch, let weak ones doze and dream !

XII.

6

—Ah, but the fresher faces ! " Is it true,"
Thou 'lt ask,

some eyes are beautiful and new ? “Some hair,—how can one choose but grasp such

wealth ? “ And if a man would press his lips to lips “ Fresh as the wilding hedge-rose-cup there slips

“ The dew-drop out of, must it be by stealth?

XIII.

“ It cannot change the love still kept for Her, “ More than if such a picture I prefer

Passing a day with, to a room's bare side : “The painted form takes nothing she possessed, Yet, while the Titian’s Venus lies at rest, A man looks. Once more, what is there to chide?”

XIV.

So must I see, from where I sit and watch,
My own self sell myself, my hand attach

Its warrant to the very thefts from me
Thy singleness of soul that made me proud,
Thy purity of heart I loved aloud,

Thy man’s-truth I was bold to bid God see!

[ocr errors]

XV.

Love so, then, if thou wilt! Give all thou canst
Away to the new faces-disentranced,

(Say it and think it) obdurate no more,
Re-issue looks and words from the old mint,
Pass them afresh, no matter whose the print
Image and superscription once they bore !

XVI,

Re-coin thyself and give it them to spend, —
It all comes to the same thing at the end,

Since mine thou wast, mine art, and mine shalt be,
Faithful or faithless : sealing up the sum
Or lavish of my treasure, thou must come

Back to the heart's place here I keep for thee !

XVII.

Only, why should it be with stain at all ?
Why must I, 'twixt the leaves of coronal,

Put any kiss of pardon on thy brow?
Why need the other women know so much,
And talk together, “Such the look and such

“ The smile he used to love with, then as now !”

XVIII.

Might I die last and show thee ! Should I find
Such hardships in the few years left behind,

If free to take and light my lamp, and go
Into thy tomb, and shut the door and sit,
Seeing thy face on those four sides of it

The better that they are so blank, I know!

XIX.

Why, time was what I wanted, to turn o'er
Within my mind each look, get more and more

By heart each word, too much to learn at first; And join thee all the fitter for the pause ’Neath the low door-way's lintel. That were cause

For lingering, though thou calledst, if I durst !

XX.

And yet thou art the nobler of us two :
What dare I dream of, that thou canst not do,

Outstripping my ten small steps with one stride?
I 'll say then, here 's a trial and a task ;
Is it to bear?-if easy, I 'll not ask :

Though love fail, I can trust on in thy pride.

XXI.

Pride ?—when those eyes forestall the life behind The death I have to go through !--when I find,

Now that I want thy help most, all of thee ! What did I fear? Thy love shali hold me fast Until the little minute's sleep is past

And I wake saved. —And yet it will not be !

IN A YEAR.

I.

NEVER any more,

While I live,
Need I hope to see his face

As before.
Once his love grown chill,
Mine
may

strive : Bitterly we re-embrace,

Single still.

II.

Was it something said,

Something done, Vexed him ? was it touch of hand,

Turn of head ?
Strange! that very way

Love begun :
I as little understand

Love's decay.

III.

When I sewed or drew,

I recall
How he looked as if I sung,

-Sweetly too.

« ПретходнаНастави »