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Wonderfully out of the beautiful form
Soared her clear spirit, waxing glad the while;

And is in its first home, there where it is. Who speaks thereof, and feels not the tears warm Upon his face, must have become so vile

As to be dead to all sweet sympathies.

upon him! an abject wretch like this May not imagine anything of her,

He needs no bitter tears for his relief.

But sighing comes, and grief, And the desire to find no comforter

(Save only Death, who makes all sorrow brief), To him who for a while turns in his thought How she hath been among us, and is not.

With sighs my bosom always laboreth
In thinking, as I do continually,

Of her for whom my heart now breaks apace;
And very often when I think of death,
Such a great inward longing comes to me

That it will change the color of my face;

And, if the idea settles in its place, All my limbs shake as with an ague-fit;

Till, starting up in wild bewilderment,

I do become so shent
That I go forth, lest folk misdoubt of it.

Afterward, calling with a sore lament
On Beatrice, I ask, “Canst thou be dead?
And calling on her, I am comforted.

Grief with its tears, and anguish with its sighs, Come to me now whene'er I am alone;

So that I think the sight of me gives pain. And what my life hath been, that living dies,

Since for my lady the New Birth's begun,

I have not any language to explain.

And so, dear ladies, though my heart were fain, I scarce could tell indeed how I am thus.

All joy is with my bitter life at war;

Yea, I am fallen so far
That all men seem to say, “Go out from us,"

Eyeing my cold white lips, how dead they are.
But she, though I be bowed unto the dust,
Watches me; and will guerdon me, I trust.

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Weep, pitiful Song of mine, upon thy way,

To the dames going and the damozels

For whom and for none else
Thy sisters have made music many a day.
Thou, that art very sad and not as they,

Go dwell thou with them as a mourner dwells.

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Her eyes were deeper than the depth

Of waters stilled at even;
She had three lilies in her hand,

And the stars in her hair were seven.

Her robe, ungirt from clasp to hem,

No wrought flowers did adorn,
But a white rose of Mary's gift,

For service meetly worn;
Her hair that lay along her back

Was yellow like ripe corn.

Herseemed she scarce had been a day

One of God's choristers;
The wonder was not yet quite gone

From that still look of hers;
Albeit, to them she left, her day

Had counted as ten years.

Yet now,

(To one, it is ten years of


and in this place, Surely she leaned o'er me—her hair

Fell all about my face. Nothing: the autumn fall of leaves.

The whole year sets apace.)

It was the rampart of God's house

That she was standing on;
By God built over the sheer depth

The which is Space begun;
So high, that looking downward thence

She scarce could see the sun.

It lies in Heaven, across the flood

Of ether, as a bridge.
Beneath, the tides of day and night

With flame and darkness ridge
The void, as low as where this earth

Spins like a fretful midge.

Around her, lovers, newly met

'Mid deathless love's acclaims, Spoke evermore among themselves

Their heart-remembered names; And the souls mounting up to God

Went by her like thin flames.

And still she bowed herself and stooped

Out of the circling charm; Until her bosom must have made

The bar she leaned on warm, And the lilies lay as if asleep

Along her bended arm.

From the fixed place of Heaven she saw

Time like a pulse shake fierce
Through all the worlds. Her gaze still strove

Within the gulf to pierce
Its path; and now she spoke as when

The stars sang in their spheres.

The sun was gone now; the curled moon

Was like a little feather
Fluttering far down the gulf; and now

She spoke through the still weather.
Her voice was like the voice the stars

Had when they sang together.

(Ah sweet! Even now, in that bird's song,

Strove not her accents there,
Fain to be harkened? When those bells

Possessed the midday air,
Strove not her steps to reach my side

Down all the echoing stair?)

“I wish that he were come to me,

For he will come,” she said. “Have I not prayed in Heaven?

-on earth, Lord, Lord, has he not prayed? Are not two prayers a perfect strength?

And shall I feel afraid?

“When round his head the aureole clings,

And he is clothed in white,
I'll take his hand and go with him

To the deep wells of light;
As unto a stream we will step down,

And bathe there in God's sight.

We two will stand beside that shrine,

Occult, withheld, untrod,
Whose lamps are stirred continually

With prayer sent up to God;
And see our old prayers, granted, melt

Each like a little cloud.

We two will lie i' the shadow of

That living mystic tree
Within whose secret growth the Dove

Is sometimes felt to be,
While every leaf that His plumes touch

Saith His Name audibly.

“And I myself will teach to him,

I myself, lying so,
The songs I sing here; which his voice

Shall pause in, hushed and slow,
And find some knowledge at each pause,

Or some new thing to know.”

(Alas! We two, we two, thou say'st!

Yea, one wast thou with me
That once of old. But shall God lift

To endless unity
The soul whose likeness with thy soul

Was but its love for thee?)

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