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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,
Lived and loved the same
Till an evening came
Pierced to our ingle-glow,
Not from the heart beneath
'T was a bubble born of breath,
Nor reproach nor taunt.
Oh, power of life and death
Woman, and will you cast
Me, your own, your You,
Since, as truth is true,
Me do you leave aghast
And the beauteous and the right,
Bear with a moment's spite When a mere mote threats the white !
What of a hasty word ?
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
'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,
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,
At the warning slash
I would laugh like the valiant Thumb
Facing the castle glum And the giant's fee-faw-fum !
Then, were the world well-stripped
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
« 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,
It is twelve o'clock :
I shall hear her knock
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!
(Love me for ever!)
April's endeavour ;
June needs must sever ;
Quenching June's fever-
THE LAST RIDE TOGETHER.
I SAID-Then, dearest, since 't is so,
Since this was written and needs must be-
Only a memory of the same,
Your leave for one more last ride with me.
My mistress bent that brow of hers;
With life or death in the balance : right !
Who knows but the world may end to-night ?
Hush ! if you saw some western cloud
And so, you, looking and loving best,
Thus lay she a moment on my breast.
Then we began to ride. My soul
What need to strive with a life awry?