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Face to face the lovers stood
A single minute and no more,
While the bridegroom bent as a man subdued—
Bowed till his bonnet brushed the floor-
In a minute can lovers exchange a word?
That was the bridegroom. At day's brink
Calmly he said that her lot was cast,
The world meanwhile, its noise and stir,
Since passing the door might lead to a feast,
"Freely I choose too," said the bride: "Your window and its world suffice,"
Replied the tongue, while the heart replied—
"If I spend the night with that devil twice, "May his window serve as my loop of hell "Whence a damned soul looks on paradise!
"I fly to the Duke who loves me well, "Sit by his side and laugh at sorrow "Ere I count another ave-bell.
""T is only the coat of a page to borrow, "And tie my hair in a horse-boy's trim, "And I save my soul-but not to-morrow."
(She checked herself and her eye grew dim) "My father tarries to bless my state: "I must keep it one day more for him.
"Is one day more so long to wait?
She turned on her side and slept. Just so!
That night the Duke said, "Dear or cheap "As the cost of this cup of bliss may prove "To body or soul, I will drain it deep."
And on the morrow, bold with love,
And smiled ""Twas a very funeral,
"Your lady will think, this feast of ours,"A shame to efface, whate'er befall!
"What if we break from the Arno bowers, "And try if Petraja, cool and green,
"Cure last night's fault with this morning's flowers?"
The bridegroom, not a thought to be seen
"But, alas! my lady leaves the South;
"Nor a way exists, the wise opine,
Quoth the Duke, "A sage and a kindly fear. "Moreover Petraja is cold this spring:
"Be our feast to-night as usual here!"
And then to himself "Which night shall bring
"Yet my passion must wait a night, nor cool-
"I need thee still and might miss perchance. "To-day is not wholly lost, beside,
"With its hope of my lady's countenance:
"For I ride-what should I do but ride?
So said, so done: nor the lady missed
Be sure that each renewed the vow,
But next day passed, and next day yet,
And still, as love's brief morning wore,
They thought it would work infallibly,
Meantime they could profit in winter's dearth
And to press a point while these oppose
Meantime, worse fates than a lover's fate,
And she-she watched the square like a book
Which daily to find she undertook:
When the picture was reached the book was done, And she turned from the picture at night to scheme Of tearing it out for herself next sun.
So weeks grew months, years; gleam by gleam
Which hovered as dreams do, still above:
One day as the lady saw her youth
The brow so puckered, the chin so peaked,-
Hollow-eyed and haggard-cheeked,