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Of thine own nobler nature's strength and science,
True genius, but true woman ! dost deny
E. B. BROWNING.
87. THE LADY’S YES
“Yes,' I answered you last night ; | Yet the sin is on us both ; * No,' this morning, sir, I say.
Time to dance is not to woo ; Colours seen by candle-light Wooing light makes fickle troth, Will not look the same by day.
Scorn of me recoils on you. When the viols played their best, Learn to win a lady's faith
Lamps above, and laughs below, Nobly, as the thing is high, Love me sounded like a jest, Bravely, as for life and deathFit for yes or fit for no.
With a loyal gravity. Call me false or call me free Lead her from the festive boards,
Vow, whatever light may shine, Point her to the starry skies, No man on your face shall see Guard her, by your truthful words, Any grief, for change on mine. Pure from courtship’s flatteries.
By your truth she shall be true,
Ever true, as wives of yore ;
E. B. BROWNING.
88. YET LOVE, MERE LOVE
E. B. BROWNING (Sonnets from the Portuguese).
89. FLUSH OR FAUNUS
E. B. BROWNING.
Of a certain star,
(Like the angled spar)
Now a dart of blue,
They would fain see, too,
They must solace themselves with the Saturn above it.
91. LIFE IN A LOVE
ESCAPE me ?
So long as the world contains us both,
Though I do my best I shall scarce succeed.
To dry one's eyes and laugh at a fall,
So the chace takes up one's life, that's all.
At me so deep in the dust and dark,
I shape me-
FEAR death ?-to feel the fog in my throat,
The mist in my face,
I am nearing the place,
The post of the foe ;
Yet the strong man must go :
And the barriers fall,
The reward of it all.
The best and the last !
And bade me creep past.
The heroes of old,
Of pain, darkness and cold.
For sudden the worst turns the best to the brave,
The black minute's at end,
Shall dwindle, shall blend,
Then a light, then thy breast,
93. GROW OLD ALONG WITH ME Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be, The last of life, for which the first was made : Our times are in His hand Who saith 'A whole I planned, Youth shows but half ; trust God: see all, nor be afraid !' Then, welcome each rebuff That turns earth's smoothness rough, Each sting that bids nor sit nor stand but go ! Be our joys three-parts pain ! Strive, and hold cheap the strain; Learn, nor account the pang; dare, never grudge the throe ! Not on the vulgar mass Called 'work', must sentence pass, Things done, that took the eye and had the price ; O’er which, from level stand, The low world laid its hand, Found straightway to its mind, could value in a trice: But all, the world's coarse thumb And finger failed to plumb, So passed in making up the main account; All instincts immature, All purposes unsure, That weighed not as his work, yet swelled the man's amount: Thoughts hardly to be packed Into a narrow act, Fancies that broke through language and escaped ; All I could never be, All, men ignored in me, This, I was th to God, whose wheel the pitcher shaped. So, take and use Thy work ! Amend what flaws may lurk, What strain o' the stuff
, what warpings past the aim ! My times be in Thy hand ! Perfect the cup as planned ! Let age approve of youth, and death complete the same !
R. BROWNING (Rabbi Ben Ezra).
94. THE NELSON TOUCH
R. BROWNING (Nationality in Drinks).
95. RUDEL TO THE LADY OF TRIPOLI I KNOW a Mount, the gracious Sun perceives First when he visits, last, too, when he leaves The world; and, vainly favoured, it repays The day-long glory of his steadfast gaze By no change of its large calm front of snow. And underneath the Mount, a Flower I know, He cannot have perceived, that changes ever At his approach ; and, in the lost endeavour To live his life, has parted, one by one, With all a flower's true graces, for the grace Of being but a foolish mimic sun, With ray-like florets round a disk-like face. Men nobly call by many a name the Mount As over many a land of theirs its large Calm front of snow like a triumphal targe Is reared, and still with old names, fresh ones vie, Each to its proper praise and own account: Men call the Flower, the Sunflower, sportively. Oh, Angel of the East, one, one gold look Across the waters to this twilight nook, -The far sad waters, Angel, to this nook ! Dear Pilgrim, art thou for the East indeed ? Go! Saying ever as thou dost proceed, That I, French Rudel, choose for my device A sunflower outspread like a sacrifice Before its idol. See! These inexpert And hurried fingers could not fail to hurt The woven picture ; 'tis a woman's skill Indeed ; but nothing baffled me, so, ill Or well, the work is finished. Say, men feed On songs I sing, and therefore bask the bees On my flower's breast as on a platform broad : But, as the flower's concern is not for these But solely for the sun, so men applaud In vain this Rudel, he not looking here But to the East-the East! Go, say this, Pilgrim dear!