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If I were one whom the loud world held wise, I should disdain to quote authorities In commendation of this kind of love. Why there is first the God in heaven above, Who wrote a book called Nature -'tis to be Reviewed, I hear, in the next Quarterly; And Socrates, the Jesus Christ of Greece, And Jesus Christ himself did never cease To urge all living things to love each other, And to forgive their mutual faults, and smother The Devil of disunion in their souls.
I love you! - Listen, O embodied Ray Of the great Brightness; I must pass away While you remain, and these light words must be Tokens by which you may remember me. Start not the thing you are is unbetrayed, If you are human, and if but the shade
Of some sublimer Spirit.
And as to friend or mistress, 'tis a form;
Others with a
Hint that, though not my wife, you are a woman
29 commendation, Garnett, 1862 || the support, Mrs. Shelley, 18392. 54 if, omit, Rossetti.
Their litany of curses some guess right,
Which lifted from her limbs the veil of stone.
It is a sweet thing, friendship, a dear balm, A happy and auspicious bird of calm, Which rides o'er life's ever tumultuous Ocean; A God that broods o'er chaos in commotion; A flower which fresh as Lapland roses are, Lifts its bold head into the world's frore air, And blooms most radiantly when others die, Health, hope, and youth, and brief prosperity; And with the light and odor of its bloom, Shining within the dungeon and the tomb; Whose coming is as light and music are 'Mid dissonance and gloom-a star
Which moves not 'mid the moving heavens alone-
If I had but a friend! Why, I have three
67 frore, Rossetti || pure, Mrs. Shelley, 18392.
I should describe you in heroic style,
A lovely soul, formed to be blessed and bless ;
A lute which those whom Love has taught to play Make music on to cheer the roughest day,
And enchant sadness till it sleeps ?
To the oblivion whither I and thou,
Let them read Shakespeare's sonnets, taking thence
On Agathon's sweet lips, which as he spoke
My hopes of Heaven - you know what they are worth
That the presumptuous pedagogues of Earth,
If they could tell the riddle offered here
Would scorn to be, or, being, to appear
What now they seem and are - but let them chide,
They have few pleasures in the world beside;
Perhaps we should be dull were we not chidden; Paradise fruits are sweetest when forbidden. Folly can season Wisdom, Hatred Love.
Farewell, if it can be to say farewell
To those who
I will not, as most dedicators do,
That you are faultless would to God they were
dear heart. Alas! what are we? Clouds
Driven by the wind in warring multitudes,
Which makes in mortal hearts its brief abode,
A Pythian exhalation, which inspires
Love, only love a wind which o'er the wires
Of the soul's giant harp
There is a mood which language faints beneath; You feel it striding, as Almighty Death
His bloodless steed.
And what is that most brief and bright delight Which rushes through the touch and through the
And stands before the spirit's inmost throne,
It floats with rainbow pinions o'er the stream
Into the light of morning, to the grave
What is that joy which serene infancy
ever new? Remembrance borrows Fancy's glass, to show These forms more
Than now they are, than then, perhaps, they were. When everything familiar seemed to be
Wonderful, and the immortality
Of this great world, which all things must inherit,
Were it not a sweet refuge, Emily,
For all those exiles from the dull insane
Who vex this pleasant world with pride and pain, For all that band of sister-spirits known
To one another by a voiceless tone?