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Far from out the west in shadowing | No sisters ever prized each other more. showers,
| Not so: their mother and her sister loved Over all the meadow baked and bare, More passionately still. Making fresh and fair
But that my best All the bowers and the flowers,
And oldest friend, your Uucle, wishes it, Fainting flowers, faded bowers, And that I know you worthy every way Over all this weary world of ours, To be my son, I might, perchance, be Breathe, diviner Air !
To part them, or part from them : and A sweet voice that — you scarce could yet one better that.
Should marry, or all the broad lands in Now follows Edith echoing Evelyn.
your view From this bay window - which our house
has held EDITH.
Three hundred years — will pass collatO diviner Light,
erally. Thro' the cloud that roofs our noon with night,
My father with a child on either knee, Thro' the blotting mist, the blinding A hand upon the head of either child, showers,
Smoothing their locks, as golden as his Far from out a sky forever bright,
own Over all the woodland's flooded bow. | Were silver, “ get them wedded ”would ers,
he sav. Over all the meadow's drowning flow. And once my prattling Edith ask'd him ers,
"why ?” Over all this ruin'd word of ours, Ay, why? said he, "for why should I go Break, diviner Light !
Then told them of his wars, and of his Marvellously like, their voices — and wound. themselves !
For see — this wine – the grape from Tho' one is somewhat deeper than the whence it flow'd other,
Was blackening on the slopes of Portugal, As one is somewhat graver than the When that brave soldier, down the terother
rible ridge Edith than Evelyn. Your good Uncle, Plunged in the last fierce charge at Wawhom
terloo, You count the father of your fortune, And caught the laming bullet. He left longs
me this, For this alliance : let me ask you then, Which yet retains a memory of its youth, Which voice most takes you ? for I do not As I of mine, and my first passion.
doubt Being a watchful parent, you are taken, Here's to your happy union with my With one or other : tho’sometimes I fear
child! You may be flickering, fluttering in a doubt
Yet must you change your name : no Between the two – which must not be
fault of mine! which might
You say that you can do it as willingly Be death to one : they both are beautiful : As birds make ready for their bridal-time Evelyn is gayer, wittier, prettier, says By change of feather: for all that, iny boy The common voice, if one may trust it : Some birds are sick and sullen when they she?
molt. No! but the paler and the graver, Edith. An old and worthy name! but mine that Woo her and gain her then: no wavering, boy!
Among our civil wars and earlier too The graver is perhaps the one for you Among the Roses, the more venerable. Who jest and laugh so easily and so I care not for a name - no fault of mine. well.
Once more – a happier marriage than For love will go by contrast, as by likes. my own!
You see yon Lombard poplar on the Of our New Forest. I was there alone : plain.
The phantom of the whirling landaulet The highway running by it leaves a Forever past me by; when one quick breadth
peal Of sward to left and right, where, long Of laughter drew me thro' the glimmerago,
ing glades One bright May morning in a world of Down to the snowlike sparkle of a cloth song,
On fern and foxglove. Lo, the face I lay at leisure, watching overhead
again, The aerial poplar wave, an amber spire. | My Rosalind in this Arden – Edith - all
One bloom of youth, health, beauty, hapA dozed; I woke. An open landaulet
piness, Whirld by, which, after it had past me, | And moved to merriment at a passing show'd
jest. Turning my way, the loveliest face on earth.
There one of those about her knowing The face of one there sitting opposite.
me On whom I brought a strange unhappi. Call’d me to join them ; so with these I ness,
spent That time I did not see.
What seem'd my crowning hour, my day
of days. Love at first sight I woo'd her then, nor unsuccessfully, May seem - with goodly rhyme and rea- | The worse for her, for me! was I conson for it
tent? Possible - at first glimpse, and for a Ay — no, not quite ; for now and then I face
thought Gone in a moment — strange. Yet once, Laziness, vague love-longings, the bright when first
May, I came on lake Llanberris in the dark, Had made a heated haze to magnify A moonless night with storm – one The charm of Edith - that a man's lightning-fork
ideal Flash'd out the lake; and tho' I loiter'd Is high in heaven, and lodged with Plato's there
God, The full day after, yet in retrospect Not findable here – content, and not That less than momentary thunder-sketch
content, Of lake and mountain conquers all the In some such fashion as a man may be day.
That having had the portrait of his friend
Drawn by an artist, looks at it, and says, The Sun himself has limn'd the face “Good! very like! not altogether he.
for me. Not quite so quickly, no, nor half as well. As yet I had not bound myself by For look you here — the shadows are too
Only, believing I loved Edith, made And like the critic's blurring comment | Edith love me. Then came the day when
make The veriest beauties of the work appear Flattering myself that all my doubts were The darkest faults: the sweet eyes frown:
fools the lips
Born of the fool this Age that doubts of Seem but a gash. My sole memorial
all Of Edith — no the other, — both indeed. Not I that day of Edith's love or mine –
Had braced my purpose to declare mySo that bright face was flash'd thro' self: sense and soul
I stood upon the stairs of Paradise. And by the poplar vanish'd – to be The golden gates would open at a word. found
I spoke it — told her of my passion, seen Long after, as it seem'd, beneath the tall And lost and found again, had got so far, Tree-bowers, and those long-sweeping Had caught her hand, her eyelids fell – beechen boughs
Wheels, and a noise of welcome at the Poor soul, not knowing) "are you ill?” doors
(so ran On a sudden after two Italian years The letter) "you bave not been here of Had set the blossom of her health again, The younger sister, Evelyn, enter'd - You will not find me here. At last I go there,
On that long-promised visit to the North There was the face, and altogether she. I told your wayside story to my mother The mother fell about the daughter's And Evelyn. She reinembers you. Fareneck,
well. The sisters closed in one another's arms, Pray come and see my mother. Almost Their people throng'd about them from
blind the hall,
With ever-growing cataract, yet she And in the thick of question and reply
thinks I fled the house, driven by one angel face, She sees you when she hears. Again And all the Furies.
farewell." I was bound to her; I could not free myself in honor – bound | Cold words from one I had hoped to Not by the sounded letter of the word,
warm so far But counter-pressures of the yielded | That I could stamp my image on her hand
heart! That timorously and faintly echoed mine, “Pray come and see my mother, and Quick blushes, the sweet dwelling of her
Cold, but as welcome as free airs of Upon me when she thought I did not heaven see
After a dungeon's closeness. Selfish, Were these not bonds ? nay, nay, but strange! could I wed her
What dwarfs are men ! my strangled Loving the other ? do her that great vanity wrong?
Utter'd a stifled cry - to have vext myHad I not dream'd I loved her yester
self morn ?
And all in vain for her — cold heart or Had I not known where Love, at first a
No bride for me. Yet so my path was Grew after marriage to full height and clear form?
To win the sister. Yet after marriage, that mock-sister
Whom I woo'd and won. there
For Evelyn knew not of my former suit, Brother-in-law — the fiery nearness of Because the simple mother work'd upon it
By Edith pray'd me not to whisper of Unlawful and disloyal brotherhood
it. What end but darkness could ensue from And Edith would be bridesmaid on the this
day. For all the three ? So Love and Honor But on that day, not being all at ease, jarr'd
I from the altar glancing back upon her, Tho' Love and Honor join'd to raise the Before the first “I will ” was utter'd, saw full
The bridesmaid pale, statuelike, passionHigh-tide of doubt that sway'd me up and
“No harm, no harm," I turned again, Advancing nor retreating.
Edith wrote : | My ring upon the finger of my bride. “My mother bids me ask ” (I did not tell you
So, when we parted, Edith spoke no A widow with less guile than many a word, child.
She wept no tear, but round my Evelyn God help the wrinkled children that are clung Christ's
In utter silence for so long, I thought As well as the plump cheek — she “What, will she never set her sistor wrought us harm,