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Can you bear me to talk with you frankly? There | Go measure yourself by her standard. Look back is much that my heart would say ;

on the years that have fled ; And you know we were children together, have Then ask, if you need, why she tells you that the quarreled and “made up” in play.

love of her girlhood is dead ! And so, for the sake of old friendship, I venture She cannot look down to her lover : her love like to tell you the truth,

her soul, aspires ; As plainly, perhaps, and as bluntly, as I might He must stand by her side, or above her, who in our earlier youth.

would kindle its holy fires.

Now farewell! For the sake of old friendship I Five summers ago, when you wooed her, you

have ventured to tell you the truth, stood on the selfsame plane,

As plainly, perhaps, and as bluntly, as I might Face to face, heart to heart, never dreaming your

in our earlier youth. souls could be parted again.



She loved you at that time entirely, in the bloom

of her life's early May;
And it is not her fault, I repeat it, that she does

not love you to-day.


Nature never stands still, nor souls either : they

ever go up or go down ;
And hers has been steadily soaring, — but how

has it been with your own?

ALAS ! how light a cause may move
Dissension between hearts that love !
Hearts that the world in vain has tried,
And sorrow but more closely tied ;
That stood the storm when waves were rough,
Yet in a sunny hour fall off,
Like ships that have gone down at sea,
When heaven was all tranquillity !

She has struggled and yearned and aspired,

grown purer and wiser each year :
The stars are not farther above you in yon lumi.

nous atmosphere !

For she whom you crowned with fresh roses,

down yonder, five summers ago,
Has learned that the first of our duties to God

and ourselves is to grow.

Her eyes they are sweeter and calmer ; but their

vision is clearer as well :
Her voice has a tenderer cadence, but is pure as

a silver bell.

A something light as air,

a look,
A word unkind or wrongly taken,
0, love that tempests never shook,

A breath, a touch like this has shaken !
And ruder words will soon rush in
To spread the breach that words begin ;
And eyes forget the gentle ray
They wore in courtship’s smiling day;
And voices lose the tone that shed
A tenderness round all they said ;
Till fast declining, one by one,
The sweetnesses of love are gone,
And hearts, so lately mingled, seem
Like broken clouds, or like the stream,
That smiling left the mountain's brow,

As though its waters ne'er could sever,
Yet, ere it reach the plain below,

Breaks into floods that part forever.

Her face has the look worn by those who with

God and his angels have talked :
The white robes she wears are less white than

the spirits with whom she has walked.

And you ? Have you aimed at the highest? Have

you, too, aspired and prayed ?

evil unsullied ? Have you
conquered it undismayed ?

Have you, too, grown purer and wiser, as the

months and the years have rolled on?
Did you meet her this morning rejoicing in the

triumph of victory won ?

O you, that have the charge of Love,

Keep him in rosy bondage bound,
As in the fields of Bliss above

He sits, with flowerets fettered round;
Loose not a tie that round him clings,
Nor ever let him use his wings ;
For even an hour, a minute's flight
Will rob the plumes of half their light.
Like that celestial bird, whose nest

Is found beneath far Eastern skies,
Whose wings, though radiant when at rest,

Lose all their glory when he flies !

Nay, hear me! The truth cannot harm you.

When to-day in her presence you stood,
Was the hand that you gave her as white and

clean as that of her womanhood ?



Of that muslin dress (for the eve was hot);

And her warm white neck in its golden chain ; At Paris it was, at the opera there ;

And her full soft hair, just tied in a knot, And she looked like a queen in a book that

And falling loose again ; night, With the wreath of pearl in her raven hair,

And the jasmine flower in her fair young breast; And the brooch on her breast so bright.

(O the faint, sweet smell of that jasmine flower !)

And the one bird singing alone to his nest ; Of all the operas that Verdi wrote,

And the one star over the tower.
The best, to my taste, is the Trovatore ;
And Mario can soothe, with a tenor note,

I thought of our little quarrels and strife,
The souls in purgatory. .

And the letter that brought me back my ring ;

And it all seemed then, in the waste of life, The moon on the tower slept soft as snow;

Such a very little thing!
And who was not thrilled in the strangest way,
As we heard him sing, while the gas burned low, For I thought of her grave below the hill,
- Non ti scordar di me" ?

Which the sentinel cypress-tree stands over :

And I thought, “ Were she only living still, The emperor there, in his box of state,

How I could forgive her and love her!"
Looked grave; as if he had just then seen
The red flag wave from the city gate,

And I swear, as I thoughtof her thus, in that hour, Where his eagles in bronze had been.

And of how, after all, old things are best,

That I smelt the smell of that jasmine flower The empress, too, had a tear in her eye :

Which she used to wear in her breast. You'd have said that her fancy had gone back again,

It smelt so faint, and it smelt so sweet, For one moment, under the old blue sky,

It made me creep, and it made me cold ! To the old glad life in Spain.

Like the scent that steals from the crumbling sheet

Where a mummy is half unrolled. Well ! there in our front-row box we sat

And I turned and looked : she was sitting there, Together, my bride betrothed and I; My gaze was fixed on my opera hat,

In a dim box over the stage ; and drest And hers on the stage hard by.

In that muslin dress, with that full soft hair,

And that jasmine in her breast !
And both were silent, and both were sad ;

I was here, and she was there ;
Like a queen she leaned on her full white arm,
With that regal, indolent air she had ;

And the glittering horseshoe curved between !So confident of her charm !

From my bride betrothed, with her raven hair

And her sumptuous scornful mien,

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The marchioness there, of Carabas,

She talked of politics or prayers,
She is wealthy, and young, and handsome still; Of Southey's prose or Wordsworth's sonnets,
And but for her well, we'll let that pass ; Of danglers or of dancing bears,
She may marry whomever she will.

Of battles or the last new bonnets;

By candlelight, at twelve o'clock -
But I will marry my own first love,

To me it mattered not a tittle
With her primrose face, for old things are best; If those bright lips had quoted Locke,
And the flower in her bosom, I prize it above I might have thought they murmured Little.
The brooch in my lady's breast.

Through sunny May, through sultry June,
The world is filled with folly and sin,

I loved her with a love eternal ;
And love must cling where it can, I say :

I spoke her praises to the moon,
For beauty is easy enough to win ;

I wrote them to the Sunday Journal.
But one is n't loved every day.

My mother laughed ; I soon found out

That ancient ladies have no feeling : And I think, in the lives of most women and men, My father frowned ; but how should gout There's a moment when all would go smooth

See any happiness in kneeling ?

and even,

If only the dead could find out when

To come back and be forgiven.

But 0, the smell of that jasmine flower !

And O, that music! and 0, the way
That voice rang out from the donjon tower,
Non ti scordar di me,

Non ti scordar di me!

She was the daughter of a dean,

Rich, fat, and rather apoplectic ;
She had one brother just thirteen,

Whose color was extremely hectic;
Her grandmother, for many a year,

Had fed the parish with her bounty ;
Her second-cousin was a peer,

And lord-lieutenant of the county.

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Whom first we love, you know, we seldom wed.
Time rules us all. And life, indeed, is not
The thing we planned it out ere hope was dead.
And then, we women cannot choose our lot.

Much must be borne which it is hard to bear; Much given away which it were sweet to keep. God help us all! who need, indeed, his care : And yet, I know the Shepherd loves his sheep.

My little boy begins to babble now
Upon my knee his earliest infant prayer.
He has his father's eager eyes, 'I know ;
And, they say, too, his mother's sunny hair.

As, rising on its purple wing, The insect-queen of Eastern spring, O’er emerald meadows of Kashmeer, Invites the young pursuer near, And leads him on from flower to flower, A weary chase and wasted hour, Then leaves him, as it soars on high, With panting heart and tearful eye ; So Beauty lures the full-grown child, With hue as bright, and wing as wild ; A chase of idle hopes and fears, Begun in folly, closed in tears. If won, to equal ills betrayed, Woe waits the insect and the maid : A life of pain, the loss of peace,

, From infant's play and man's caprice ; The lovely toy, so fiercely sought, Hath lost its charm by being caught; For every touch that wooed its stay Hath brushed its brighest hues away, Till, charm and hue and beauty gone, 'T is left to fly or fall alone. With wounded wing or bleeding breast, Ah ! where shall either victim rest?

But when he sleeps and smiles upon my knee,
And I can feel his light breath come and go,
I think of one (Heaven help and pity me !)
Who loved me, and whom I loved, long ago;

Who might have been--ah, what I dare not think!
We are all changed. God judges for us best.
God help us do our duty, and not shrink,
And trust in Heaven humbly for the rest.

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