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Which brooded round about her:

Ah, one rose,

One rose, but one, by those fair fingers cull'd,

Were worth a hundred kisses press'd on lips

Less exquisite than thine."

She look'd : but all

Suffused with blushes-neither self-possess'd

Nor startled, but betwixt this mood and that,

Divided in a graceful quiet-paused,

And dropt the branch she held, and turning, wound

Her looser hair in braid, and stirr'd her lips

For some sweet answer, tho' no answer came,

Nor yet refused the rose, but granted it,
And moved away, and left me, statue-like,

In act to render thanks.

I, that whole day,
Saw her no more, altho' I linger'd there
Till every daisy slept, and Love's white star

Beam'd thro' the thicken'd cedar in the dusk.

So home we went, and all the livelong way

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My Juliet ? you, not you,—the Master, Love,

A more ideal Artist he than all.”

So home I went, but could not sleep for joy,

Reading her perfect features in the gloom,
Kissing the rose she gave me o'er and o'er,
And shaping faithful record of the glance
That graced the giving—such a noise of life
Swarm'd in the golden present, such a voice
Callid to me from the years to come, and such

A length of bright horizon rimm'd the dark.

And all that night I heard the watchman peal

The sliding season : all that night I heara

The heavy clocks knolling the drowsy hours.
The drowsy hours, dispensers of all good,
U'er the mute city stole with folded wings,

Distilling odours on me as they went
To greet their fairer sisters of the East.

Love at first sight, first-born, and heir to all, Made this night thus. Henceforward squall nor


Could keep me from that Eden where she dwelt.
Light pretexts drew me: sometimes a Dutch love
For tulips ; then for roses, moss or musk,
To grace my city-rooms; or fruits and cream

Served in the weeping elm ; and more and more
A word could bring the colour to my cheek ;
A thought would fill my eyes with happy dew;

Love trebled life within me, and with each

The year increased.

The daughters of the year,

One after one, thro' that still garden pass'd


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Each garlanded with her peculiar flower
Danced into light, and died into the shade ;


And each in passing touch'd with some new grace

Or seem'd to touch her, so that day by day,

Like one that never can be wholly known,
Her beauty grew; till Autumn brought an hour
For Eustace, when I heard his deep “I will,”
Breathed, like the covenant of a God, to hold

From thence thro' all the worlds : but I rose up

Full of his bliss, and following her dark eyes

Felt earth as air beneath me, till I reach'd

The wicket-gate, and found her standing there.

There sat we down upon a garden mound,

Two mutually enfolded; Love, the third,

Between us, in the circle of his arms

Enwound us both; and over many a range
Of waning lime the gray

cathedral towers,

Across a hazy glimmer of the west,
Reveal'd their shining windows: from them clash'd
The bells; we listen'd; with the time we play'd;
We spoke of other things; we coursed about
The subject most at heart, more near and near,
Like doves about a dovecote, wheeling round
The central wish, until we settled there.


Then, in that time and place, I spoke to her,
Requiring, tho' I knew it was mine own,
Yet for the pleasure that I took to hear,
Requiring at her hand the greatest gift,

A woman's heart, the heart of her I loved;

And in that time and place she answer'd me,

And in the compass of three little words,

More musical than ever came in one,

The silver fragments of a broken voice,
Made me most happy, faltering, “I am thine.”

Shall I cease here? Is this enough to say

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