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Ah, well—but sing the foolish song
I gave you, Alice, on the day When, arm in arm, we went along,
A pensive pair, and you were gay With bridal flowers—that I
may seem, As in the nights of old, to lie Beside the mill-wheel in the stream,
While those full chestnuts whisper by.
It is the miller's daugbter,
And she is grown so dear, so dear,
That trembles at her ear :
And I would be the girdle
About her dainty dainty waist,
In sorrow and in rest :
And I would be the necklace,
And all day long to fall and rise
With her laughter or her sighs,
A trifle, sweet! which true love spells —
True love interprets—right alone.
For all the spirit is his own.
You must blame Love. His early rage Had force to make me rhyme in youth,
And makes me talk too much in age.
And now those vivid hours are gone,
Like mine own life to me thou art, Where Past and Present, wound in one,
Do make a garland for the heart : So sing that other song I made,
Half-anger'd with my happy lot, The day, when in the chestnut shade
I found the blue Forget-me-not.
Love that bath us in the net,
Eyes with idle tears are wet.
Ah, no! no !
Look thro' mine eyes with thine. True wife,
Round my true heart thine arms entwine ; My other dearer life in life,
Look thro' my very soul with thine ! Untouch'd with
shade of years, May those kind eyes for ever dwell ! They have not shed a many tears,
Dear eyes, since first I knew them well.
Yet tears they shed : they had their part
Of sorrow : for when time was ripe, The still affection of the heart
Became an outward breathing type, That into stillness past again,
And left a want unknown before ; Although the loss that brought us pam,
That loss but made us love the more,
With farther lookings on. The kiss,
The woven arms, seem but to be Weak symbols of the settled bliss,
The comfort, I have found in thee :
But that God bless thee, dear—who wrought
Two spirits to one equal mind-
With blessings which no words can find.
Arise, and let us wander forth,
yon old mill across the wolds; For look, the sunset, south and north,
Winds all the vale in rosy folds, And fires your narrow casement glass,
Touching the sullen pool below : On the chalk-hill the bearded grass
Is dry and dewless. Let us go.
O Love, Love, Love! O withering might!
Lo, falling from my constant mind,
Last night I wasted hateful hours
I crush'd them on my breast, my mouth :
Last night, when some one spoke his name, From
swift blood that went and came A thousand little shafts of flame Were shiver'd in my narrow frame.