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Trampled out the light for ever:
Never fear but there's provision
Lest we walk the earth in rapture!
Such am I: the secret's mine now!
She has lost me, I have gained her;
I shall pass my life's remainder.
Both our powers, alone and blended:
This world's use will have been ended.
MY LAST DUCHESS.
FERRARA. [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 Worked busily a day, and there she stands. Will 't please you sit and look at her? I said “Frå Pandolf” by design, for never read Strangers like you that pictured countenance, The depth and passion of its earnest glance, But to myself they turned (since none puts by The curtain I have drawn for you, but I) And seemed as they would ask me, if they durst, How such a glance came there; so, not the first Are you to turn and ask thus. Sir, 'twas not Her husband's presence only, called that spot Of joy into the Duchess cheek: perhaps Frà Pandolf chanced to say "Her mantle laps
“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;
At the Shambles' Gate-or, better yet,
A rope cuts both my wrists behind;
For they fling, whoever has a mind,
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,
And now was quiet, now astir,
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! Delayed it may be for more lives yet,
Through worlds I shall traverse, not a few: Much is to learn, much to forget
Ere the time be come for taking you.
But the time will come,-at last it will,
When, Evelyn Hope, what meant (I shall say) In the lower earth, in the years long still,
That body and soul so pure and gay? Why your hair was amber, I shall divine,
And your mouth of your own geranium's redAnd what you would do with me, in fine,
In the new life come in the old one's stead.
I have lived (I shall say) so much since then,
Given up myself so many times, Gained me the gains of various men,
Ransacked the ages, spoiled the climes; Yet one thing, one, in my souls full scope,
Either I missed or itself missed me: And I want and find you, Evelyn Hope!
What is the issue? let us see!
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.