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Many an evening by the waters did we watch the stately ships,
And our spirits rushed together at the touching of the lips.
O my cousin, shallow-hearted! O my Amy, mine
O the dreary, dreary moorland! O the barren, barren shore !
Falser than all fancy fathoms, falser than all songs have sung,
Puppet to a father's threat, and servile to a shrewish tongue!
Is it well to wish thee happy?—having known me-to decline
On a range of lower feelings and a narrower heart than mine!
Yet it shall be thou shalt lower to his level day by day,
What is fine within thee growing coarse to sympathize with clay.
As the husband is, the wife is; thou art mated with a clown,
And the grossness of his nature will have weight to drag thee down.
He will hold thee, when his passion shall have spent its novel force, Something better than his dog, a little dearer than his horse.
What is this? his eyes are heavy: think not they are glazed with wine.
Go to him: it is thy duty: kiss him: take his hand in thine.
It may be my lord is weary, that his brain is overwrought:
Soothe him with thy finer fancies, touch him with thy lighter thought.
He will answer to the purpose, easy things to under stand
Better thou wert dead before me, though I slew thee with my hand!
Better thou and I were lying, hidden from the heart's disgrace,
Rolled in one another's arms, and silent in a last embrace.
Cursed be the social wants that sin against the strength of youth! Cursed be the social lies that warp us from the living truth!
Cursed be the sickly forms that err from honest Nature's rule!
Cursed be the gold that gilds the straitened forehead of the fool!
Well,-'tis well that I should bluster!-Hadst thou less unworthy proved
Would to God-for I had loved thee more than ever wife was loved.
Am I mad, that I should cherish that which bears but bitter fruit?
I will pluck it from my bosom, though my heart be at the root.
Never, though my mortal summers to such length of years should come
As the many-wintered crow that leads the clanging rookery home.
Where is comfort? in division of the records of the mind?.
Can I part her from herself, and love her, as I knew her, kind?
I remember one that perished: sweetly did she speak and move:
Such a one do I remember, whom to look at was to love.
Can I think of her as dead, and love her for the love she bore ?
No-she never loved me truly love is love forever
Comfort? comfort scorned of devils! this is truth the poet sings,
That a sorrow's crown of sorrow is remembering happier things.
Drug thy memories, lest thou learn it, lest thy heart be put to proof,
In the dead, unhappy night, and when the rain is on the roof.
Like a dog, he hunts in dreams, and thou art staring at the wall,
Where the dying night-lamp flickers, and the shadows rise and fall.
Then a hand shall pass before thee, pointing to his drunken sleep,
To thy widowed marriage-pillows, to the tears that thou wilt weep.
Thou shalt hear the "Never, never," whispered by the phantom years,
And a song from out the distance in the ringing of thine ears
And an eye shall vex thee, looking ancient kindness on thy pain.
Turn thee, turn thee on thy pillow; get thee to thy rest again.
Nay, but Nature brings thee solace; for a tender voice will cry.
'Tis a purer life than thine; a lip to drain thy trouble dry.
Baby lips will laugh me down: my latest rival brings thee rest.
Baby fingers, waxen touches, press me from the mother's breast.
O, the child too clothes the father with a dearness not his due.
Half is thine and half is his: it will be worthy of the two.
O, I see thee old and formal, fitted to thy petty part,
With a little hoard of maxims preaching down a daughter's heart.
"They were dangerous guides the feelings-she herself was not exempt
Truly, she herself had suffered "-Perish in thy
Overlive it lower yet-be happy! wherefore should I care?
I myself must mix with action, lest I wither by despair.
What is that which I should turn to, lighting upon days like these?
Every door is barred with gold, and opens but to
Every gate is thronged with suitors, all the markets
I have but an angry fancy: what is that which I should do?
I had been content to perish, falling on the foeman's ground,
When the ranks are rolled in vapor, and the winds are laid with sound.
But the jingling of the guinea helps the hurt that Honor feels,
And the nations do but murmur, snarling at each other's heels.
Can I but relive in sadness? I will turn that earlier page.
Hide me from my deep emotion, oh thou wondrous Mother-Age!
Make me feel the wild pulsation that I felt before the strife,
When I heard my days before me, and the tumult of my life;
Yearning for the large excitement that the coming years would yield,
Eager-hearted as a boy when first he leaves his
And at night along the dusky highway near and nearer drawn,
Sees in heaven the light of London flaring like a dreary dawn;
And his spirit leaps within him to be gone before him then,
Underneath the light he looks at, in among the throngs of men ;