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And yet all your best made of sunshine and snow Drop to shade, melt to nought in the long-trodden
ways, While she's still remembered on warm and cold days –
Her air had a meaning, her movements a grace;
Such a blue inner light from her eyelids outbroke, You looked at her silence and fancied she spoke : When she did, so peculiar yet soft was the tone, Though the loudest spoke also, you heard her alone
I doubt if she said to you much that could act
She never found fault with you, never implied
None knelt at her feet confessed lovers in thrall ; They knelt more to God than they used, that was all ; If you praised her as charming, some asked what you
meant, But the charm of her presence was felt when she
The weak and the gentle, the ribald and rude,
have ! She has made the grass greener even here — with her grave
My dear one! when thou wast alive with the rest,
A FALSE STEP.
SWEET, thou hast trod on a heart,
Pass! there 's a world full of men; And women as fair as thou art
Must do such things now and then.
Thou only hast stepped unaware,
Malice, not one can impute;
In the way of a fair woman's foot ?
It was not a stone that could trip,
Nor was it a thorn that could rend; Put up thy proud underlip!
'T was merely the heart of a friend.
And yet peradventure one day
Thou, sitting alone at the glass, Remarking the bloom gone away,
Where the smile in its dimplement was,
And seeking around thee in vain,
From hundreds who flattered before, Such a word as, “ Oh, not in the main
Do I hold thee less precious, but more !”
Thou 'lt sigh, very like, on thy part,
“. Of all I have known or can know, I wish I had only that Heart
I trod upon ages ago !”
A LOVER'S SONNET.
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways:
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight, For the ends of Being and Ideal Grace. I love thee to the level of every day's Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight. I love thee freely, as men strive for Right; I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise ; I love thee with the passion put to use In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith ; I love thee with a love I seemed to lose With
my lost saints; I love thee with the breath, Smiles, tears, of all my life! and, if God choose, I shall but love thee better after death.
I WILL paint her as I see her :
Ten times have the lilies blown
And her face is lily-clear,
Lily-shaped, and drooped in duty
Oval cheeks, encolored faintly,
Which a trail of golden hair
And a forehead fair and saintly,
Which two blue eyes undershine,
Face and figure of a child,
Though too calm, you think, and tender, For the childhood you would lend her.
Yet child-simple, undefiled,
Frank, obedient, waiting still
Moving light, as all young things,
As young birds, or early wheat
Only free from flutterings
Of loud mirth that scorneth measure,
Choosing pleasures (for the rest)
Which come softly, — just as she,
Quiet talk she liketh best,
In a bower of gentle looks,