You cannot count, That you should weep for this account, not you! The human race To you means, such a child, or such a man, You saw one morning waiting in the cold, Beside that gate, perhaps. The world of books is still the world, I write, And both worlds have God's providence, thank God, To keep and hearten: with some struggle, indeed, Among the breakers, some hard swimming through The deeps—I lost breath in my soul sometimes And cried 'God save me if there's any God. As it is, You wear your blue so chiefly in your eyes, My fair Aurora, in a frank good way, It comforts me entirely for your fame, As well as for the trouble of my ascent To this Olympus. . Well, voice and look were now More utterly shut out from me, I felt, Than even my father's.
A babe at thirteen months Will walk as well as you,' she cried in haste, 'Without a steadying finger. Your cousin Romney Leigh's a monster! Then, I wakened up More slowly than I verily write now, But wholly, at last, I wakened, opened wide The window and my soul, and let the airs. We traded our gunpowder with them. Well, naturally you think I've come here, as the lion-hunters go To deserts, to secure you, with a trap For exhibition in my drawing-rooms On zoologic soirées? Ay, and while your common men Build pyramids, gauge railroads, reign, reap, dine, And dust the flaunty carpets of the world For kings to walk on, or our senators, The poet suddenly will catch them up With his voice like a thunder. I learnt a little algebra, a little Of the mathematics,—brushed with extreme flounce The circle of the sciences, because She misliked women who are frivolous.
I have watched you when he came And when he went, and when we've talked of him: I am not old for nothing; I can tell The weather-signs of love—you love this man. And thus beloved, she died. And, since God willed That, putting out his hand to touch this ark, He found a woman's hand there, he'd accept The sign too, hold the tender fingers fast, And say, 'My fellow-worker, be my wife! But sit in London, at the day's decline, And view the city perish in the mist Like Pharaoh's armaments in the deep Red Sea,— The chariots, horsemen, footmen, all the host, Sucked down and choked to silence—then, surprised By a sudden sense of vision and of tune, You feel as conquerors though you did not fight, And you and Israel's other singing girls, Ay, Miriam with them, sing the song you choose. I might have held that poor child to my heart A little longer! But, after I had read for memory, I read for hope. But love, You poets are benighted in this age; The hour's too late for catching even moths, You've gnats instead, love! And will the wind change by to-morrow morn? Dear heaven, how silly are the things that live In thickets and eat berries! Then her head grew vexed; Trees, fields, turned on her and ran after her; She heard the quick pants of the hills behind, Their keen air pricked her neck.
They will, in heaven—but meantime, on the earth, There's none can like a nettle as a pink, Except himself. A tiptoe Danae, overbold and hot: Both arms a-flame to meet her wishing Jove Halfway, and burn him faster down; the face And breasts upturned and straining, the loose locks All glowing with the anticipated gold. A starved man Exceeds a fat beast: we'll not barter, sir, The beautiful for barley. Perhaps The painter symbolises unawares Two states of the recipient artist-soul; One, forward, personal, wanting reverence, Because aspiring only. They clogged the streets, they oozed into the church In a dark slow stream, like blood. She let fall my hands, And took her smile off, in sedate disgust, As peradventure she had touched a snake,— A dead snake, mind! Get away; Your steps, for ever buzzing in the room, Tease me like gnats.
Why, you child, God help you, you are groping in the dark, For all this sunlight. Still I sit and feel My father's slow hand, when she had left us both, Stroke out my childish curls across his knee; And hear Assunta's daily jest she knew He liked it better than a better jest Inquire how many golden scudi went To make such ringlets. The clock struck nine That morning, too,—no lark was out of tune; The hidden farms among the hills, breathed straight Their smoke toward heaven; the lime-trees scarcely stirred Beneath the blue weight of the cloudless sky, Though still the July air came floating through The woodbine at my window, in and out, With touches of the out-door country-news For a bending forehead. For me, Aurora, I've my work; you know my work; And having missed this year some personal hope, I must beware the rather that I miss No reasonable duty. He, maybe, got the upper hand of her By holding up a wedding-ring, and then. We are not so vile. When my joy and pain, My thought and aspiration, like the stops Of pipe or flute, are absolutely dumb If not melodious, do you play on me, My pipers,—and if, sooth, you did not blow, Would not sound come? Remember how he drew you to his knee The year you came here, just before he died, And hollowed out his hands to hold your cheeks, And wished them redder,—you remember Vane? You have a wife already whom you love, Your social theory.
And yet to pause Were surelier mortal: we tore greedily up All silence, all the innocent breathing -points, As if, like pale conspirators in haste, We tore up papers where our signatures Imperilled us to an ugly shame or death. So, happy and unafraid of solitude, I worked the short days out,—and watched the sun On lurid morns or monstrous afternoons, Like some Druidic idol's fiery brass, With fixed unflickering outline of dead heat, In which the blood of wretches pent inside Seemed oozing forth to incarnadine the air,— Push out through fog with his dilated disk, And startle the slant roofs and chimney-pots With splashes of fierce colour. Now let's talk reason, though we talk of love. She only knew' so much she had chronicled, As seraphs might, the making of the sun 'That he who came and spake was Romney Leigh, And then, and there, she saw and heard him first. Yet, concede, Such sounding brass has done some actual good, The application in a woman's hand, If that were credible, being scarcely spoilt, In colonising beehives.
Romney is devastated, and searches for Marian for days, but cannot find her. If as well, what then? I passed Too quickly for distinguishing. She lay there, stunned, half tranced, And wished, at intervals of growing sense, She might be sicker yet, if sickness made The world so marvellous kind, the air so hushed, And all her wake-time quiet as a sleep; For now she understood, as such things were How sickness ended very oft in heaven, Among the unspoken raptures. In fact, Mine did more, for I read half Fourier through, Proudhon, Considerant, and Louis Blanc With various other of his socialists; And if I had been a fathom less in love, Had cured myself with gaping. And, old at twenty, was inclined to pull My childhood backward in a childish jest To see the face of't once more, and farewell! A ninth seal; The apocalypse is drawing to a close.
That He who makes, Can make good things from ill things, best from worst, As men plant tulips upon dunghills when They wish them finest? Yet be taught He's better to us than many mothers are, And children cannot wander beyond reach Of the sweep of his white raiment. Roar softly at me; I am frivolous, I dare say; I have played at lions, too Like other women of my class,—but now I meet my lion simply as Androcles Met his. It was not so with us, indeed. Because myself was true in writing them. How bitterly I speak,—how certainly The innocent white milk in us is turned, By much persistent shining of the sun! Grant the man Twice godlike, twice heroic,—still he limps, And here's the point we come to. Well, A month passed so, and then the notice came; On such a day the marriage at the church.