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Before thy song (with shifted rhymes
To suit my name) did I undo
Thou hast not seen a hand push through
My mother listening to my sleep
Heard nothing but a sigh at night, The short sigh rippling on the deep,
When hearts run out of breath and sight Of men, to God's clear light.
When others named thee, ... thought thy brows
Werestraight, thy smile was tender, . “ Here He comes between the vineyard-rows !"
I said not “Ay," - nor waited, Dear,
I left such things to bolder girls,
Olivia or Clotilda. Nay, When that Clotilda through her curls
Held both thinc eyes in hers one day, I marvelled, let me say.
I could not try the woman's trick :
Between us straightway fell the blush Which kept me separate, blind, and sick.
A wind came with thee in a flush,
But now that Italy invokes
Her young men to go forth and chase The foe or perish, - nothing chokes
My voice, or drives me from the place : I look thee in the face.
I love thee! it is understood,
Confest: I do not shrink or start : No blushes : all my body's blood
Has gone to greaten this poor heart,
Heroic males the country bears,
But daughters give up more than sons.
You flash your souls out with the guns,
— we empty heart and home
To hear the door-latch stir and clink
Dear God! when Italy is one
And perfected from bound to bound,
By one grave in 't ! as one small wound
What then? If love's delight must end,
At least we 'll clear its truth from flaws.
Now take my sweetest without pause,
We'll both be worthy. Let her show
Not sparing life, nor Giulio,
ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING.
HERO TO LEANDER.
0, Go not yet, my love,
The night is dark and vast ;
And the waves climb high and fast.
Lest thy kiss should be the last.
O kiss me ere we part;
But give the cock a blow
Who did begin our woe!”
ANONYMOUS (Chinese). Translation
of WILLIAM R. ALGER.
My heart of hearts art thou.
THE PARTING OF ROMEO AND JULIET.
JULIET. Wilt thou be gone ? it is not yet near
It was the nightingale, and not the lark,
Nightly she sings on yon pomegranate tree :
I have bathed thee with the pleasant myrrh; Romeo. It was the lark, the herald of the Thy locks are dripping balm ;
morn, Thou shalt not wander hence to-night, No nightingale : look, love, what envious streaks I'll stay thee with my kisses.
Do lace the severing clouds in yonder east : To-night the roaring brine
Night's candles are burnt out, and jocund day
Stands tiptoe on the misty mountain tops.
I must be gone and live, or stay and die.
JULIET. Yon light is not daylight, I know And the billow will embrace thee with a kiss as soft as mine.
It is some meteor, that the sun exhales,
To be to thee this night a torch-bearer,
And light thee on thy way to Mantua :
Therefore stay yet, - thou need'st not be gone. And when thou art dead, Leander,
Romeo. Let me be ta’en, let me be put to My soul must follow thee!
death ; O, go not yet, my love,
I am content, so thou wilt have it so.
I'll say, yon gray is not the morning's eye,
'Tis but the pale reflex of Cynthia's brow;
Nor that is not the lark, whose notes do beat The turret-stairs are wet
The vaulty heaven so high above our heads : That lead into the sea.
I have more care to stay than will to go ;Leander ! go not yet.
Come, death, and welcome ! Juliet wills it so. The pleasant stars have set :
How is 't, my soul ? let's talk, it is not day. 0, go not, go not yet,
JULIET. It is, it is, hie hence, be gone, away!
It is the lark that sings so out of tunc,
This doth not so, for she divideth us :
Some say, the lark and loathéd toad change
eyes: She says, “The cock crows, — hark !". 10, now I would they had changed voices too! He says, “No! still 't is dark."
Since arm from arm that voice doth us affray,
Hunting thee hence, with hunts-up to the day. She says, “ The dawn grows bright,” 0, now be gone; more light and light it grows. He says “O no, my Light."
Romeo. More light and light, — more dark
and dark our woes. She says, “Stand up and say,
JULIET. Then, window, let day in, and let Gets not the heaven gray ?".
Romeo. Farewell, farewell ! one kiss, and I'll He says, “The morning star
(Descends.) Climbs the horizon's bar.”
JULIET. Art thou gone so ? my love! my
lord ! my friend ! She says, “Then quick depart :
I must hear from thee every day i' the hour, Alas! you 'now must start;
For in a minute there are many days :
Weep no more, my lady ; 0, weep no more
to-day ! We'll sing one song for my old Kentucky
home, For our old Kentucky home far away.
They hunt no more for the possum and the coon,
On the meadow, the hill, and the shore ; They sing no more by the glimmer of the moon,
On the bench by the old cabin door ; The day goes by, like a shadow o'er the heart,
With sorrow where all was delight; The time has come, when the darkeys have to part, Then, my old Kentucky home, good night!
Weep no more, my lady, &c. The head must bow, and the back will have to bend,
Wherever the darkey may go ; A few more days, and the troubles all will end,
In the field where the sugar-cane grow ; A few more days to tote the weary load,
No matter it will never be light; A few more days till we totter on the road, Then, my old Kentucky home, good night!
Weep no more, my lady, &c.
Would that breast were bared before thee
Where thy head so oft hath lain, While that placid sleep came o'er thee
Which thou ne'er canst know again : Would that breast, by thee glanced over,
Every inmost thought could show ! Then thou wouldst at last discover
'T was not well to spurn it so. Though the world for this commend thee,
Though it smile upon the blow, Even its praises must offend thee,
Founded on another's woe :
Could no other arm be found,
To inflict a cureless wound ?
FAREWELL! IF EVER FONDEST
FAREWELL ! if ever fondest prayer
For other's weal availed on high, Mine will not all be lost in air,
But waft thy name beyond the sky. 'T were vain to speak, to weep, to sigh :
Oh! more than tears of blood can tell, When wrung from guilt's expiring eye,
Are in that word - Farewell ! - Farewell !
Yet, O yet, thyself deceive not:
Love may sink by slow decay, But by sudden wrench, believe not
Hearts can thus be torn away ; Still thine own its life retaineth,
Still must mine, though bleeding, beat; And the undying thought which paineth
Is — that we no more may meet. These are words of deeper sorrow
Than the wail above the dead ;
Wake us from a widowed bed.
When our child's first accents flow,
Though his care she must forego ? When her little hands shall press thee,
When her lip to thine is pressed, Think of him whose prayer shall bless thee,
Think of him thy love had blessed ! Should her lineaments resemble
Those thou nevermore mayst see,
With a pulse yet true to me.
All my madness none can know;
Wither, yet with thee they go. Every feeling hath been shaken ;
Pride which not a world could bow, Bows to thee, -- by thee forsaken,
Even my soul forsakes me now; But 't is done ; all words are idle,
Words from me are vainer still ; But the thoughts we cannot bridle
Force their way without the will.
These lips are mute, these eyes are dry :
But in my breast and in my brain
not by, The thought that ne'er shall sleep again. My soul nor deigns nor dares complain,
Though grief and passion there rebel : I only know we loved in vain
I only feel — Farewell ! - Farewell !
FARE THEE WELL! AND IF FOREVER.
FARE thee well! and if forever,
Still forever, fare thee well; Even though unforgiving, never
'Gainst thee shall my heart rebel.
Fare thee well!- thus disunited,
Torn from every nearer tie, Seared in heart, and lone, and blighted,
More than this I scarce can die.
WHEN WE TWO PARTED.
When we two parted In silence and tears, Half broken-hearted, To sever for years, Pale grew thy cheek and cold, Colder thy kiss : Truly that hour foretold Sorrow to this ! The dew of the morning Sunk chill on my brow; It felt like the warning Of what I feel now. Thy vows are all broken, And light is thy fame : I hear thy name spoken And share in its shame. They name thee before me, A knell to mine ear ; A shudder comes o'er meWhy wert thou so dear? They know not I knew thee Who knew thee too well : Long, long shall I rue thee Too deeply to tell. In secret we met: In silence I grieve That thy heart could forget, Thy spirit deceive. If I should meet thee After long years, How should I greet thee? With silence and tears.
COME, LET US KISSE AND PARTE. SINCE there's no helpe,
- come, let us kisse and parte, Nay, I have done, — you get no more of me; And I am glad, -yea, glad with all my hearte,
That thus so cleanly I myselfe can free. Shake hands forever ! — cancel all our vows;
And when we meet at any time againe, Be it not seene in either of our brows,
That we one jot of former love retaine. Now — at the last gaspe of Love's latest breath
When, his pulse failing, Passion speechless lies;
When Faith is kneeling by his bed of death,
And Innocence is closing up his eyes, Now! if thou wouldst — when all have given
him overFrom death to life thou might'st him yet re
FAREWELL. THOU ART TOO DEAR. FAREWELL! thou art too dear for my possessing, And like enough thou know'st thy estimate : The charter of thy worth gives thee releasing ; My bonds in thee are all determinate. For how do I hold thee but by thy granting? And for that riches where is my deserving ? The cause of this fair gift in me is wanting, And so my patent back again is swerving. Thyself thou gav’st, thy own worth then not
knowing, Or me, to whom thou gav'st it, else mistaking; So thy great gift, upon misprision growing, Comes home again, on better judgment making.
Thus have I had thee, as a dream doth flatter; In sleep a king, but, waking, no such matter.
AN EARNEST SUIT
TO HIS UNKIND MISTRESS NOT TO FORSAKE HIM.
And wilt thou leave me thus ?
Say nay ! say nay !
Say nay ! say nay !
Say nay! say nav!
Say nay ! say nay !
SIR THOMAS WYAT.