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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,
In act to render thanks.
I, that whole day,
Beam'd thro' the thicken'd cedar in the dusk.
So home we went, and all the livelong way
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,
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.
Distilling odours on me as they went
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.
Served in the weeping elm ; and more and more
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
Each garlanded with her peculiar flower
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,
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
Across a hazy glimmer of the west,
Then, in that time and place, I spoke to her,
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,
Shall I cease here? Is this enough to say