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I love thee, as I love the full
Clear gushings of the song, Which lonely, sad, and beautiful,
At night-fall floats along ;
Pour'd by the bul-bul forth to greet
The hours of rest and dew, When melody and moonlight meet
To blend their charm and hue.
I love thee, as the glad bird loves
The freedom of its wing,
On which delightedly it moves
In wildest wandering.
I love thee, as I love the swell
And hush of some low strain, Which bringeth, by its gentle spell,
The past to life again.
Such is the feeling which from thee
Nought earthly can allure ; 'Tis ever link'd to all I see Of gifted — high — and pure.
Ere the tongue Can utter, or the eye a woe reveal, Her smile is round us, like a guardian spell Which nothing scatters, save the tyrant gloom Of death : and then, whose unforsaken glance Till the last hue of being fade, from dawn To midnight keeps angelic watch beside The ebbing spirit, lighting it to heaven. 'Tis action makes the world of man : but life Is feeling, such as gentle woman bears : The fairy people of her inward world Are true affections ; when the blight hath touch'd Or wrong'd their beauty, darkly cold this earth Becomes; the elements of being fade, And silence is the sepulchre of thought, Wherein the anguish of her spirit dwells.
If music be the food of love, play on !
Give me excess of it; that, surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.
That strain again |—it had a dying fall:
Oh, it came o'er my ear like the sweet south,
That breathes upon a bank of violets,
Stealing, and giving odour.-Enough ; no more;
'Tis not so sweet now as it was before.
O spirit of love, how quick and fresh art thou !
That, notwithstanding thy capacity
Receiveth as the sea,—-nought enters there
Of what validity and pitch soever,
But falls into abatement and low price
Even in a minute! So full of shapes is fancy,
That it alone is high-fantastical.
Thou blushing thing of pain and bliss !
Child of a happier sphere than this !
Wert thou a nursling of the sky,
Foster'd in paradise on high,
To thrill the radiant breasts above ?
No; angels feel not youthful love:
Theirs is a flame we cannot know,
A holy ardour free from woe;
But ours a joy supreme, intense,
A short and splendid recompense
For an esteem unbroke, unmoved,
Which man immortal might have proved.
Art thou not then, O virtuous Love,
The dearest gift of heaven above ?
A LOVER’S PRAISE.
do Still betters what is done. When you speak, sweet, I'd have
do it ever;
I'd have you buy and sell so; so give alms;
Pray so; and for the ord'ring your affairs
To sing them too. When you do dance, I wish you
A wave o' the
you might ever do
Nothing but that; move still, still so,
And own no other function : each your doing,
So singular in each particular,
Crowns what you 're doing in the present deeds,
That all your acts are queens.
Hold there a moment, Love replied,
Nor boast dominion quite so wide.
Is there no province to invade
But that by Love and meekness sway'd ?
All other empire I resign;
But be the sphere of beauty mine.
For in the downy lawn of rest
That opens on a woman's breast,
Attended by my peaceful train,
I choose to love, and choose to reign.
Far-sighted Faith I bring along,
And Truth, above an army strong,
And Chastity, of icy mould,
Within the burning tropics cold ;
And Lowliness, to whose mild brow
The power and pride of nations bow;
And Modesty, with downcast eye,
That lends the morn her virgin dye ;
And Innocence, array’d in light,
And Honour, as a tower upright;
With sweetly winning graces, more
Than poets ever dreamt of yore;
In unaffected conduct free,
All smiling sisters, three times three;
Peace, the cherub blest,
That nightly sings us all to rest.
Hence, from the bud of nature's prime,
From the first step of infant time,
Woman, the world's appointed light,
Has skirted every shade with white;
Has stood for imitation high,
To every heart and every eye ;
From ancient deeds of fair renown
Has brought her bright memorials down,
To time affix'd perpetual youth,
And form'd each tale of love and truth.