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Again with a lifted voice, like a choral trumpet that
takes The lowest note of a viol that trembles, and triumphing
On the air with it solemn and clear,— Behold! I have
sinned not in this ! Where I loved, I have loved much and well, I have verily loved not amiss.
Let the living,' she said,
'Inquire of the dead, In the house of the pale-fronted images : My own true dead will answer for me, that I have not
In my love for all these.
VII. * The least touch of their hands in the morning, I keep
it by day and by night; Their least step on the stair, at the door, still throbs
through me, if ever so light; Their least gift, which they left to my childhood, far
off in the long-ago years, Is now turned from a toy to a relic, and seen through the crystals of tears.
Dig the snow,' she said,
For my churchyard bed,
If one only of these my beloveds, shall love me with heart-warm tears,
As I have loved these !
VIII. 'If I angered any among them, from thenceforth my
own life was sore ; If I fell by chance from their presence, I clung to their
memory more: Their tender I often felt holy, their bitter I sometimes
called sweet; And whenever their heart has refused me, I fell down straight at their feet.
I have loved,' she said,
“Man is weak, God is dread, Yet the weak man dies with his spirit at ease, Having poured such an unguent of love but once on
the Saviour's feet,
As I lavished for these.'
Go, I cried, thou hast chosen the Human, and left the
Divine! Then, at least, have the Human shared with thee their
wild berry-wine ? Have they loved back thy love, and when strangers
approached thee with blame, Have they covered thy fault with their kisses, and
loved thee the same ?
But she shrunk and said,
'God, over my head, Must sweep in the wrath of his judgment-seas, If He shall deal with me sinning, but only indeed the
And no gentler than these.'
I CLASSED, appraising once,
The jarring yea and nay,
But all did leaven the air
Than these words—'I loved ONCE.'
And who saith, “I loved ONCE'?
Love, through eternity,
A light too broad for blasting:
Saith never, 'I loved ONCE.'
Thy cross and curse may rend,
One spherëd star above,
. By his No More, and Once.
Mourners, without that snow ?
Whose prayers have met your own,
So long,—-We loved them ONCE' ?
Could ye, ' We loved her once,'
When hearts of better right
Ye find my colours fade,
Such words—Ye loved me ONCE!