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But, so gentle the bondage, my soul did implore
The right to continue your slave evermore,
With my fingers enmesh'd in your hair — my pet.

Thus ever I dream what you were, Janette,
With your lips and your eyes and your hair — my pet;
In the darkness of desolate years I moan,
And my tears fall bitterly over the stone
That covers your golden hair — my pet.

Charles Graham HAlpine.

NEVER THE TIME AND THE PLACE

Never the time and the place

And the loved one all together!

This path — how soft to pace!

This May — what magic weather! •

Where is the loved one's face?
In a dream that loved one's face meets mine,

But the house is narrow, the place is bleak
Where, outside, rain and wind combine

With a furtive ear, if I strive to speak,

With a hostile eye at my flushing cheek,

With a malice that marks each word, each sign!

O enemy sly and serpentine,
Uncoil thee from the waking man!
Do I hold the Past
Thus firm and fast
Yet doubt if the Future hold I can?

This path so soft to pace shall lead

Thro' the magic of May to herself indeed!

Or narrow if needs the house must be,

Outside are the storms and strangers: we —

Oh, close, safe, warm, sleep I and she,

— I and she!

Robert Browning.

WE TWAIN

Oh, earth and heaven are far apart!

But what if they were one,
And neither you nor I, sweetheart,

Had any way misdone?
When we like laughing rivers fleet,

That cannot choose but flow,
Among the flowers should meet and greet,
Should meet and mingle so,
Sweetheart —

That would be sweet, I know.

No need to swerve and drift apart,

Or any bliss resign;
Then I should be all yours, sweetheart,

And you would be all mine.
But ah! to rush, defiled and brown,

From thaw of smirched snow,
To spoil the corn, beat down and drown

The rath red lilies low —
Sweetheart,

I do not want you so.

For you and I are far apart;

And never may we meet,
Till you are glad and grand, sweetheart,

Till I am fair and sweet.
Till morning light has kiss'd us white

As highest Alpine snow,
Till both are brave and bright of sight —

Go wander high or low,
Sweetheart;

For God will have it so.

Oh, heaven and earth are far apart!

If you are bond or free,
And if you climb or crawl, sweetheart,

Can no way hinder me.
But see you come in lordly state,

With mountain winds aglow,
When I by dazzling gate shall wait,

To meet and love you so,
Sweetheart!

That will be heaven, I know.

Amanda T. Jones.

A MATCH

Ir love were what the rose is,

And I were like the leaf,
Our lives would grow together
In sad or singing weather,
Blown fields or flowerful closes,

Green pleasure or gray grief;
If love were what the rose is,

And I were like the leaf.

If I were what the words are,
And love were like the tune,
With double sound and single
Delight our lips would mingle,

With kisses glad as birds are

That get sweet rain at noon; If I were what the words are,

And love were like the tune.

If you were life, my darling,

And I your love were death,
We'd shine and snow together
Ere March made sweet the weather
With daffodil and starling

And hours of fruitful breath;
If you were life, my darling,

And I your love were death.

If you were thrall to sorrow,

And I were page to joy,
We'd play for lives and seasons
With loving looks and treasons
And tears of night and morrow

And laughs of maid and boy;
If you were thrall to sorrow,

And I were page to joy.

If you were April's lady,

And I were lord in May,
We'd throw with leaves for hours
And draw for days with flowers,
Till day like night were shady

And night were bright like day;
If you were April's lady,

And I were lord in May.

If you were queen of pleasure,

And I were king of pain,
We'd hunt down love together,
Pluck out his flying-feather,
And teach his feet a measure,

And find his mouth a rein;
If you were queen of pleasure,

And I were king of pain.

Algernon Charles Swinburne.

KISS ME SOFTLY

Kiss me softly and speak to me low, —
Malice has ever a vigilant ear;
What if Malice were lurking near?
Kiss me, dear!

Kiss me softly and speak to me low.

Kiss me softly and speak to me low, —

Envy, too, has a watchful ear;

What if Envy should chance to hear?
Kiss me, dear!
Kiss me softly and speak to me low.

Kiss me softly and speak to me low;
Trust me, darling, the time is near
When lovers may love with never a fear; —
Kiss me, dear!
Kiss me softly and speak to me low.

John Godfrey Saxe.

PEARLS

Not what the chemists say they be,

Are pearls — they never grew;
They come not from the hollow sea,

They come from heaven in dew!

Down in the Indian sea it slips,

Through green and briny whirls,
Where great shells catch it in their lips,

And kiss it into pearls!

If dew can be so beauteous made,

Oh, why not tears, my girl?
Why not your tears? Be not afraid —

I do but kiss a pearl!

Richard Henry Stoddard.

THE BROOKSIDE

I Wander'd by the brookside,

I wander'd by the mill;
I could not hear the brook flow, —

The noisy wheel was still;
There was no burr of grasshopper,

No chirp of any bird,
But the beating of my own heart

Was all the sound I heard.

I sat beneath the elm-tree ; •

I watched the long, long shade,
And as it grew still longer,

I did not feel afraid;
For I listen'd for a footfall,

I listen'd for a word —
But the beating of my own heart

Was all the sound I heard.

He came not — no, he came not —

The night came on alone —
The little stars sat, one by one,

Each on his golden throne;
The evening wind pass'd by my cheek,

The leaves above were stirr'd —
But the beating of my own heart
Was all the sound I heard.

Fast silent tears were flowing,

When something stood behind; A hand was on my shoulder —

I knew its touch was kind; It drew me nearer — nearer —

We did not speak one word, For the beating of our own hearts

Was all the sound we heard.
Richard Monckton Milnes (lord Houghton).

IF YOU WERE HERE
A Song In Winter

O Love, if you were here

This dreary, weary day, — If your lips, warm and dear,

Found some sweet word to say, — Then hardly would seem drear

These skies of wintry gray.

But you are far away, —

How far from me, my dear! What cheer can warm the day?

My heart is chill with fear, Pierced through with swift dismay;

A thought has turn'd Life sere:

If you from far away

Should come not back, my dear; If I no more might lay

My hand on yours, nor hear That voice, now sad, now gay,

Caress my listening ear;

If you from far away

Should come no more, my dear, — Then with what dire dismay

Year join'd to hostile year Would frown, if I should stay

Where memories mock and jeer!

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