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And hear me swear a solemn oath,
That only by thy side
And gain her for my bride.
And when my marriage morn may fail,
She, Dryad-like, shall wear Alternate leaf and acorn-ball
In wreath about her hair.
And I will work in prose and rhyme,
And praise thee more in both Than bard has honour'd beech or lime,
Or that Thessalian growth,
In which the swarthy ringdove sat,
And mystic sentence spoke; And more than England honours that,
Thy famous brother-oak,
Wherein the younger Charles abode
Till all the paths were dim,
And humm’d a surly hymn.
LOVE AND DUTY.
Of love that never found his earthly close,
Not so. Shall Error in the round of time
If this were thus, if this, indeed, were all,
But am I not the nobler thro' thy love ?
Will some one say, then why not ill for good ?
For Love himself took part against himself To warn us off, and Duty loved of Love
() this world's curse,-beloved but hated-came
If the sense is hard
Could Love part thus ? was it not well to speak, To have spoken once? It could not but be well. The slow sweet hours that bring us all things good The slow sad hours that bring us all things ill, And all good things from evil, brought the night, In which we sat together and alone, And to the want, that hollow'd all the heart, Gave utterance by the yearning of an eye, That burn'd upon its object thro' such tears As flow but once a life.
The trance gave way To those caresses, when a hundred times In that last kiss, which never was the last, Farewell, like endless welcome, lived and died. Then follow'd counsel, comfort, and the words That make a man feel strong in speaking truth ; Till now the dark was worn, and overhead The lights of sunset and of sunrise mix'd In that brief night; the summer night, that paused Among her stars to hear us; stars that hung
Love-charm’d to listen : all the wheels of Time
O then like those, who clench their nerves to rush
Live-yet liveShall sharpest pathos blight us, knowing all Life needs for life is possible to will Live happy ; tend thy flowers; be tended by My blessing! Should my Shadow cross thy thoughts Too sadly for their peace, remand it thou For calmer hours to Memory's darkest hold, If not to be forgotten—not at onceNot all forgotten. Should it cross thy dreams, O might it come like one that looks content, With quiet eyes unfaithful to the truth, And point thee forward to a distant light, Or seem to lift a burthen from thy heart And leave thee frëer, till thou wake refresh'd, Then when the first low matin-chirp hath grown Full quire, and morning driv'n her plow of pearl Far furrowing into light the mounded rack, Beyond the fair green field and eastern sea.