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Trampled out the light for ever:
Lest we walk the earth in rapture!
Such am I: the secret's mine now!
She has lost me, I have gained her;
This world's use will have been ended.
MY LAST DUCHESS.
[Dramatic Lyrics 1842 u. d. Tit. “Italy”.] THAT'S my last Duchess painted on the wall, Looking as if she were alive. I call
That piece a wonder, now: Frà Pandolf's hands
"Over my lady's wrist too much," or "Paint
At starting, is my object. Nay, we'll go
AN OLD STORY.
[Men and Women 1855.]
It was roses, roses, all the way,
With myrtle mixed in my path like mad: The house-roofs seemed to heave and sway,
The church-spires flamed, such flags they had, A year ago on this very day.
The air broke into a mist with bells,
The old walls rocked with the crowd and cries. Had I said, "Good folk, mere noise repels
"But give me your sun from yonder skies!" They had answered, "And afterward, what else?"
Alack, it was I who leaped at the sun
To give it my loving friends to keep! Nought man could do, have I left undone: And you see my harvest, what I reap This very day, now a year is run.
There's nobody on the house-tops now
Just a palsied few at the windows set; For the best of the sight is, all allow,
At the Shambles' Gate-or, better yet, By the very scaffold's foot, I trow.
I go in the rain, and, more than needs,
Thus I entered, and thus I go!
In triumphs, people have dropped down dead. "Paid by the world, what dost thou owe "Me?"-God might question; now instead, 'Tis God shall repay: I am safer so.
[Men and Women 1855.]
BEAUTIFUL Evelyn Hope is dead!
Sit and watch by her side an hour. That is her book-shelf, this her bed;
She plucked that piece of geranium-flower, Beginning to die too, in the glass;
Little has yet been changed, I think: The shutters are shut, no light may pass Save two long rays thro' the hinge's chink.
Sixteen years old when she died!
Perhaps she had scarcely heard my name; It was not her time to love; beside,
Her life had many a hope and aim, Duties enough and little cares,
And now was quiet, now astir, Till God's hand beckoned unawares,
And the sweet white brow is all of her.
Is it too late then, Evelyn Hope?
What, your soul was pure and true, The good stars met in your horoscope, Made you of spirit, fire and dewAnd, just because I was thrice as old
And our paths in the world diverged so wide, Each was nought to each, must I be told? We were fellow mortals, nought beside?
No, indeed! for God above
Is great to grant, as mighty to make, And creates the love to reward the love:
I claim you still, for my own love's sake!
Through worlds I shall traverse, not a few:
But the time will come,-at last it will,
When, Evelyn Hope, what meant (I shall say)
And your mouth of your own geranium's red-
In the new life come in the old one's stead.
I have lived (I shall say) so much since then,
I loved you, Evelyn, all the while.
My heart seemed full as it could hold? There was place and to spare for the frank young smile, And the red young mouth, and the hair's young gold.
So, hush, I will give you this leaf to keep:
See, I shut it inside the sweet cold hand! There, that is our secret: go to sleep!
You will wake, and remember, and understand.