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I look'd—I hung on Thee
With fearless eyes, and fearless answer'd me.
A light warm hand across my shoulder fell:

• O Love, and I have much to tell', I cried, since last we parted, since, so long,

And all that interspace
One dreary dream, one dim phantasmal wrong,

Exiled in glamour strong
Far from thy blesséd face.


''Twas but a dream, I know, A magic madness that enthrall’d me so: Some nightmare foul delusion, well I wot:

I dream'd my Darling loved me not. And many months against the web I strove

That held my soul asnare;
Doom'd to a lurid waste and void of love,

Pursuing my lost dove
With faint feet and despair.

A phantom life: a curse
That blanch'd the greenery of God's universe :-
I died, methought, yet breathed perforce again,

And walk'd a spectre among men :
And shared the feast, and ran the common round,

And smiled on friends that smiled,
And work'd my work, and mask'd the deep-sore wound,

In that sick sorcery bound,
Beguiling and beguiled.

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Weep not, mine only Love, My truest of the true, my faithful Dove! 'Twas some assayal of my youthful heart;

And God that gave has heal’d the smart.
Do not I kiss the tear-drops from thine eyes,

The paleness from thy brow?
True Heart, and purer than these azure skies,

Mine own without disguise-
Ah! we are waking now.

But O for it was sore,
A death in life, to think thee mine no more-
To feel the loss, yet loving thee no less:

All life without thee purposeless.
Prayer link'd in vain to prayer, and heavenward cries

That back in thunders roll-
And very God was blotted from the skies

Before the blinded eyes
And atheism of the soul.

· And ever as I strove Came doubts and waverings in the Faith of Love : And ever thy sweet face before mine eyes

And dreams of ancient Paradise.
And that Loved most when Lost-the chaliced gall

Of exile-absence tasted
God spare thy true heart, whatsoe'er befall

That last worst curse of all-
Affection wasted.


• Weep not, mine only Love,
My truest of the true, my faithful Dove :
It was a dream-a spell-I know not how-

Own Darling, we are waking now.
Look out on heaven-all heaven upon this bay;

A second sky below;
Where star-eyed lilies amorous cadence sway

Within their crystal day
And emeraldine glow.


“Where through tall coral glades Weird forms of life hang o'er their flickering shades, Shaking pale beads of air from pearly sides;

And upward each pearl slowly glides, Hollowing the surface as it breaks in light:

As from some poet's brain
Well the deep lustrous thoughts, that as they smite

The common air, unite,
And feed the breath of men.

• Where other sapphires lie Than earth's pale gems, each a condensed sky: And crimson-hearted rubies, deep as Love,

Stain the translucent wave above, Dilating in slow throbs of sanguine flame:

And pale pure pearls beside
Blush opalescent hues, a roseate shame,

And cluster to thy name,
Self-ranged beneath the tide.

"So blush not Thou; for Truth Owns thee her own from thy first tenderest youth :Truth's own : mine own: since that immortal day

When first I saw thy childhood stray
Plucking the rose-enfoliaged almond bough,

And call'd thee by my side,
And felt thy careless ringlets on my brow,

And all the spirit bow
Before the destined Bride :-

Alone alone with Thee, Thee only, as then, and on this crystal sea : 0 I have words now that had no voice then

In that still tumult of sweet pain :
Listening the lordly music of the spheres

Oracular of Thee :
The promise of th' illimitable years,

The dearer bliss that tears
Wiped off have ransom'd me.

For that great joy to be Seated by thy side and thine arm around me'Twas but the prelibation of the bliss

Reserved for such an hour as this :Here let Time stay: God has no joys in store

Past that one word ' mine own',-
-I wake : morn's scornful sunbeams blanch the floor :

I go forth as of yore
Bearing the curse alone.

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XXXVI It was so next morning. I went forth ; I exhausted the last, hope I cannot say, fond foolish fancy, the last event of life, and that how shadowy !-by the second ascent of La Collina. I rested again on the summit; again looked on the white cottage, on the curving road to the Tesoretto. What fatal Power is it which carries us to the violation of spots so sacred to recollection, which raises a mirage vision to our fancy before arrival, and then in place of the desire of the eyes, in place of some sign of wrath adequate to account for calamity,—shows us all things pursuing their common way, and Nature and Circumstance implacable or indifferent to our heart's despair ? I saw the dry blanched road, the tracks of other wheels, the great trees that had witnessed our parting, the village mother leading up the child born long after. Others passed presently, dressed for some festival in the city below:


One walk'd between his wife and child,
With measured footfall firm and mild,
And now and then he gravely smiled.

The prudent partner of his blood
Lean’d on him, faithful, gentle, good,
Wearing the rose of womanhood.

And in their double love secure,
The little maiden walk'd demure,
Pacing with downward eyelids pure.

These three made unity so sweet,
My frozen heart began to beat,
Remembering its ancient heat.

Although in all details not repeated in Italy, this charming picture, and the purpose which it serves in the poet's argument came into my mind, but with a double


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portion of almost wrathful bitterness -- Look what thy • future might have been', the Voice within me said :• Look ; and she with herself has exiled thee from it for • ever, for the ages of ages. After the eighteen years

gone by, as well hope to be literally born again, as hope afresh. Too late, too late to seek a newer world. The irregressible gate is passed : lasciate ogni speranza'-And there was no second softer voice to reply

O it might suit the song to silence by that argument the complainings of a morbid melancholy, but could the ruined hope of life be restored by this or any other prospect of another's unattainable happiness?

XXXVII I sat down : my early years were with me: the tale of hours, visionary now and vain, yet devoted to a desire and a purpose which had been the most real of life's realities, the blessing without which it were truly better not to be. These years, I could not disguise it, had brought a lesson so profoundly sad, at war so absolutely with the teaching both of the world without and the world within the heart, that I hardly knew how to face conclusions which yet appeared irrefutable. If, whilst yet a boy, some friend of larger experience and versed in the defeats of hope, passing by me in my dreams and exultation had recalled the Preacher's pathetic phrase, and said · Childhood and Youth, and Love with them,

are Vanity', I should have derided the warning. Was it on my own merit that I relied ? Did I not confess my want of worthihood ? O yes, and with remorse deep and continual: but there was truly no thought of self, my reliance was not there; I loved her with such strength and identification, that of her love I could doubt no more than of my own. Let the life-weary king say what he would, mine, (I should have answered the scorner) was a

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