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From the lake to the meadow and on to the wood,

Our wood, that is dearer than all;

From the meadow your walks have left so sweet

That whenever a March-wind sighs,
He sets the jewel-print of your feet

In violets blue as your eyes,
To the woody hollows in which we meet,

And the valleys of Paradise.

The slender acacia would not shake

One long milk-bloom on the tree;
The white lake-blossom fell into the lake

As the pimpernel dozed on the lea;
But the rose was awake all night for your sake,

Knowing your promise to me;
The lilies and roses were all awake,

They sighed for the dawn and thee.

Queen rose of the rosebud garden of girls,

Come hither! the dances are done;
In gloss of satin and glimmer of pearls,

Queen lily and rose in one;
Shine out, little head, sunning over with curls:

To the flowers, and be their sun.

There has fallen a splendid tear

From the passion-flower at the gate.
She is coming, my dove, my dear;

She is coming, my life, my fate!
The red rose cries, “She is near, she is near”;

And the white rose weeps, “She is late”;
The larkspur listens, “I hear, I hear”;
And the lily whispers, "I wait."

She is coming, my own, my sweet!

Were it ever so airy a tread,
My heart would hear her and beat,

Were it earth in an earthly bed;
My dust would hear her and beat,

Had I lain for a century dead;
Would start and tremble under her feet,
And blossom in purple and red.

Alfred Tennyson

93

THER

HERE'S a woman like a dewdrop, she's so purer than the

purest; And her noble heart's the noblest, yes, and her sure faith's

the surest: And her eyes are dark and humid, like the depth on depth of

lustre Hid i' the harebell, while her tresses, sunnier than the wild

grape cluster,

Gush in golden-tinted plenty down her neck's rose-misted

marble: Then her voice's music call it the well's bubbling, the

bird's warble! And this woman says, “My days were sunless and my nights

were moonless, Parched the pleasant April herbage, and the lark's heart's out

break tuneless, If you loved me not!” And I who(ah, for words of flame!)

adore her, Who am mad to lay my spirit prostrate palpably before her I may enter at her portal soon, as now her lattice takes me, And by noontide as by midnight make her mine, as hers she makes me!

Robert Browning

NAY

TAY but you, who do not love her,

Is she not pure gold, my mistress?
Holds earth aught—speak truth-above her?

Aught like this tress, see, and this tress,
And this last fairest tress of all,
So fair, see, ere I let it fall?

Because you spend your lives in praising;

To praise, you search the wide world over:
Then why not witness, calmly gazing,

If earth holds aught—speak truth-above her?
Above this tress, and this, I touch
But cannot praise, I love so much!

Robert Browning

TWO IN THE CAMPAGNA

I

WONDER do you feel to-day

As I have felt since, hand in hand, We sat down on the grass, to stray

In spirit better through the land, This morn of Rome and May?

For me, I touched a thought, I know,

Has tantalized me many times, (Like turns of thread the spiders throw

Mocking across our path) for rhymes To catch at and let go.

Help me to hold it! First it left

The yellowing fennel, mun to seed
There, branching from the brickwork's cleft,

Some old tomb’s ruin; yonder weed
Took up the floating vreft,

Where one small orange cup amassed

Five beetles—blind and green they grope Among the honey-meal: and last,

Everywhere on the grassy slope I traced it. Hold it fast!

The champaign with its endless fleece

Of feathery grasses everywhere! Silence and passion, joy and peace,

An everlasting wash of airRome's ghost since her decease.

Such life here, through such lengths of hours,

Such miracles performed in play, Such primal naked forms of flowers,

Such letting nature have her way, While heaven looks from its towers!

How say you? Let us, O my dove,

Let us be unashamed of soul, As earth lies bare to heaven above!

How is it under our control To love or not to love?

I would that you were all to me,

You that are just so much, no more. Nor yours nor mine, nor slave nor free! Where does the fault lie?

What the core O'the wound, since wound must be?

I would I could adopt your will,

See with your eyes, and set my heart
Beating by yours, and drink my fill

At your soul's springs,—your part my part
In life, for good and ill.

No, I yearn upward, touch you close,
Then stand away.

I kiss your cheek,
Catch your soul's warmth,—I pluck the rose

And love it more than tongue can speak-
Then the good minute goes.

Must I go

Already how am I so far

Out of that minute?
Still like the thistle-ball, no bar,

Onward, whenever light winds blow,
Fixed by no friendly star?

Just when I seemed about to learn!

Where is the thread now? Off again!
The old trick! Only I discern-

Infinite passion, and the pain
Of finite hearts that yearn.

Robert Browning

6

WELL

I remember how you smiled
To see me write your name upon
The soft sea-sand ...“O! what a child!

You think you're writing upon stone!
I have since written what no tide

Shall ever wash away, what men
Unborn shall read o'er ocean wide
And find lanthe's name again.

Walter Savage Landor

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