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Yet, ah me! if at her head
There another phantom lean
Ah ! and if my spirit's queen
Ah! poor shade!
How should love's own messenger
Strive with love and be love's foe ? Master, nay! If thus, in her,
Sleep a wedded heart should show, Silent let mine image go,
Its old share Of thy sunken air to know.
Like a vapour wan and mute,
Like a flame, so let it pass ;
One dull breath against her glass;
Then, too, let all hopes of mine,
All vain hopes by night and day,
Rise up pallid and obey,
Be they thine,
Yet from old time, life, not death,
Master, in thy rule is rife :
Adam woke beside his wife.
Force and faith,
Yea, to Love himself is pour'd
This frail song of hope and fear.
With kind Sleep to bring her near,
Some ladies love the jewels in Love's zone
And gold-tipped darts he hath for painless play
In idle scornful hours he flings away ;
Some prize his blindfold sight; and there be they
Who kissed his wings which brought him yesterday And thank his wings to-day that he is flown.
My lady only loves the heart of Love :
Therefore Love's heart, my lady, hath for thee
His bower of unimagined flower and tree: There kneels he now, and all-anhungered of Thine eyes grey-lit in shadowing hair above,
Seals with thy mouth his immortality.
Between the hands, between the brows,
Between the lips of Love-Lily,
My blood with fire to burn through me;
Who laughs and murmurs in mine ear,
And whom my life grows faint to hear.
Within the voice, within the heart,
Within the mind of Love-Lily,
His tremulous wings and looks at me ;
And shows, while whispering lutes confer.
Whose winds and spirits worship her.
Brows, hands, and lips, heart, mind, and voice,
Kisses and words of Love-Lily,-
Till riotous longing rest in me !
But find in her its gracious goal,
Nor Love her body from her soul.
"Vhat shall be said of this embattled day
And armed occupation of this night
By all thy foes beleaguered,—now when sight Nor sound denotes the loved one far away? Of these thy vanquished hours what shalt thou say,
As every sense to which she dealt delight
Now labours lonely o’er the stark noon-height To reach the sunset's desolate disarray ?
Stand still, fond fettered wretch! while Memory's art
Parades the Past before thy face, and lures
Thy spirit to her passionate portraitures : Till the tempestuous tide-gates Aung apart Flood with wild will the hollows of thy heart,
And thy heart rends thee, and thy body endures.
This is her picture as she was :
It seems a thing to wonder on,
Should tarry when myself am gone.
That now, even now, the sweet lips part
To breathe the words of the sweet heart :Aud yet the earth is over her.
Alas! even such the thin-drawn ray
That makes the prison-depths more rude, The drip of water night and day
Giving a tongue to solitude.
Takes counsel with my soul alone, –
Save what is secret and unknown, Below the earth, above the skies.
In painting her I shrined her face
Mid mystic trees, where light falls in Hardly at all; a covert place
Where you may think to find a din Of doubtful talk, and a live flame Wandering, and many a shape whose name
Not itself knoweth, and old dew,
And your own footsteps meeting you, And all things going as they came.
A deep dim wood; and there she stands
As in that wood that day : for so Was the still movement of her hands
And such the pure line's gracious flow.
And passing fair the type must seem,
'Tis she : though of herself, alas !
Less than her shadow on the grass Or than her image in the stream.
That day we met there, I and she
One with the other all alone ;
Saddens those hours, as when the moon
Athirst where other waters sprang ;
And where the echo is, she sang,– My soul another echo there.
But when that hour my soul won strength
For words whose silence wastes and kills, Dull raindrops smote us, and at length
Thundered the heat within the hills. That eve I spoke those words again Beside the pelted window-pane ;
And there she hearkened what I said,
With under-glances that surveyed The empty pastures blind with rain.
Next day the memories of these things,
Like leaves through which a bird has flown, Still vibrated with Love's warm wings;
Till I must make them all my own And paint this picture. So, 'twixt ease Of talk and sweet long silences,
She stood among the plants in bloom
At windows of a summer room, To feign the shadow of the trees.
And as I wrought, while all above
And all around was fragrant air, In the sick burthen of my love
It seemed each sun-thrilled blossom there