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So, earth has gained by one man the more,
And the gain of earth must be heaven's gain too; And the whole is well worth thinking o'er
When autumn comes: which I mean to do
One day, as I said before.
ANY WIFE TO ANY HUSBAND.
My love, this is the bitterest, that thou-
As thine eyes say, as thy voice breaks to say-
I have but to be by thee, and thy hand
The beating of my heart to reach its place.
Oh, I should fade-'t is willed so! Might I save,
Joy to thy sense, for that was precious too.
It is not to be granted. But the soul
Whence the love comes, all ravage leaves that whole; Vainly the flesh fades; soul makes all things new.
It would not be because my eye grew dim
He gave us from his fire of fires, and bade
While that burns on, though all the rest grow dark.
So, how thou wouldst be perfect, white and clean
Alike, this body given to show it by!
Oh, three-parts through the worst of life's abyss,
And is it not the bitterer to think
That disengage our hands and thou wilt sink
Thou let'st the stranger's glove lie where it fell;
For thou art grateful as becomes man best:
With thee would such things fade as with the rest.
I seem to see! We meet and part; 't is brief;
The very chair I sat on, breaks the rank;
That is a portrait of me on the wall
Three lines, my face comes at so slight a call:
But now, because the hour through years was fixed, Because our inmost beings met and mixed,
Because thou once hast loved me-wilt thou dare Say to thy soul and Who may list beside, "Therefore she is immortally my bride;
"Chance cannot change my love, nor time impair.
"So, what if in the dusk of life that's left, "I, a tired traveller of my sun bereft,
"Look from my path when, mimicking the same, "The fire-fly glimpses past me, come and gone? "Where was it till the sunset? where anon
"It will be at the sunrise! What's to blame?"
Is it so helpful to thee? Canst thou take
Is the remainder of the way so long
Thou need'st the little solace, thou the strong? Watch out thy watch, let weak ones doze and dream!
-Ah, but the fresher faces! "Is it true,"
Thou❜lt ask, "some eyes are beautiful and new?
"Some hair, how can one choose but grasp such wealth?
"And if a man would press his lips to lips
"I cannot change the love still kept for Her, "More than if such a picture I prefer
"Passing a day with, to a room's bare side: "The painted form takes nothing she possessed, "Yet, while the Titian's Venus lies at rest,
"A man looks. Once more, what is there to chide?"
So must I see, from where I sit and watch,
Its warrant to the very thefts from me—
Thy man's-truth I was bold to bid God see!
Love so, then, if thou wilt! Give all thou canst
(Say it and think it) obdurate no more;
Re-coin thyself and give it them to spend,—
Since mine thou wast, mine art and mine shalt be, Faithful or faithless, sealing up the sum
Or lavish of my treasure, thou must come
Back to the heart's place here I keep for thee!
Only, why should it be with stain at all?
Put any kiss of pardon on thy brow?
Might I die last and show thee! Should I find
If free to take and light my lamp, and go
Why, time was what I wanted, to turn o'er
By heart each word, too much to learn at first,
And yet thou art the nobler of us two:
What dare I dream of, that thou canst not do, Outstripping my ten small steps with one stride? I'll say then, here's a trial and a task
Is it to bear?-if easy, I'll not ask:
Though love fail, I can trust on in thy pride.
Pride? when those eyes forestall the life behind The death I have to go through!-when I find, Now that I want thy help most, all of thee!