Tell me not of your starry eyes,

Your lips that seem on roses fed, Your breasts, where Cupid tumbling lies

Nor sleeps for kissing of his bed,

A bloomy pair of vermeil cheeks

Like Hebe's in her ruddiest hours, A breath that softer music speaks

Than summer winds a-wooing flowers ; –

These are but gauds : nay, what are lips ?

Coral beneath the ocean-stream, Whose brink when your adventurer slips

Full oft he perisheth on them.

And what are cheeks, but ensigns oft

That wave hot youth to fields of blood ? Did Helen's breast, though ne'er so soft,

Do Greece or Ilium any good ?

Eyes can with baleful ardor burn;

Poison can breath, that erst perfumed ; There's many a white hand holds an urn

With lovers' hearts to dust consumed.

For crystal brows there's naught within ;

They are but empty cells for pride ; He who the Siren's hair would win

Is mostly strangled in the tide.

Give me, instead of Beauty's bust,

A tender heart, a loyal mind, Which with temptation I would trust,

Yet never linked with error find,

One in whose gentle bosom I

Could pour my secret heart of woes, Like the care-burdened honey-fly

That hides his murmurs in the rose,

My earthly Comforter! whose love

So indefeasible might be
That, when my spirit wonned above,
Hers could not stay, for sympathy.




GENTEEL in personage, Conduct, and equipage, Noble by heritage,

Generous and free: Brave, not romantic; Learned, not pedantic ; Frolic, not frantic ;

This unust he be.

Honor maintaining,
Meanness disdaining,
Still entertaining,

Engaging and new.
Neat, but not finical ;
Sage, but not cynical ;
Never tyrannical,

But ever true.



THREE students were travelling over the Rhine ; They stopped when they came to the landlady's

sign ; “Good landlady, have you good beer and wine ? And where is that dear little daughter of thine ?"

My beer and wine are fresh and clear ;
My daughter she lies on the cold death-bier !"
And when to the chamber they made their way,
There, dead, in a coal-black shrine, she lay.

The first he drew near, and the veil gently raised,
And on her pale face he mournfully gazed :
“Ah! wert thou but living yet," he said,
“I'd love thee from this time forth, fair maid !"

The second he slowly put back the shroud,
And turned him away and wept aloud :
“Ah! that thou liest in the cold death-bier !
Alas! I have loved thee for many a year!"

The third he once more uplifted the veil,
And kissed her upon her mouth so pale :
“Thee loved I always ; I love still but thee ;
And thee will I love through eternity!"

From the German of UHLAND. Translation

of J. S. DWIGHT.


There were three maidens who loved a king ;

They sat together beside the sea;
One cried, “I love him, and I would die

If but for one day he might love me !"

The second whispered, “And I would die

To gladden his life, or make him great." The third one spoke not, but gazed afar

With dreamy eyes that were sad as Fate.

The king he loved the first for a day,

The second his life with fond love blest ; And yet the woman who never spoke

Was the one of the three who loved him best.



BEFORE I trust my fate to thee,

Or place my hand jr. thine, Before I let thy future give

Color and form to mine, Before I peril all for thee, Question thy soul to-night for me.

I break all slighter bonds, nor feel

A shadow of regret :
Is there one link within the past

That holds thy spirit yet?
Or is thy faith as clear and free
As that which I can pledge to thee?

Does there within thy dimmest dreams

A possible future shine,
Wherein thy life could henceforth breathe,

Untouched, unshared by mine?
If so, at any pain or cost,
O, tell me before all is lost !

Look deeper still : if thou canst feel,

Within thy inmost soul, That thou hast kept a portion back,

While I have staked the whole, Let no false pity spare the blow, But in true mercy tell me so.

Is there within thy heart a need

That mine cannot fulfil ?
One chord that any other hand

Could better wake or still?
Speak now, lest at some future day
My whole life wither and decay.

Lives there within thy nature hid

The demon-spirit, change, Shedding a passing glory still

On all things new and strange ? It may not be thy fault alone, But shield my heart against thine own.

Couldst thou withdraw thy hand one day

And answer to my claim,
That fate, and that to-day's mistake,

Not thou, -- had been to blame?
Some soothe their conscience thus; but thou
Wilt surely warn and save me now.

Nay, answer not, -- I dare not hear ;

The words would come too late ; Yet I would spare thee all remorse,

So comfort thee, my fate: Whatever on my heart may fall, Remember, I would risk it all!


I will not let you say a woman's part

Must be to give exclusive love alone; Dearest, although I love you so, my heart

Answers a thousand claims besides your own.

I love, — what do I not love ? Earth and air

Find space within my heart, and myriad things You would not deign to heed are cherished there,

And vibrate on its very inmost strings.

I love the summer, with her ebb and flow
Of light and warmth and music, that have

nursed Her tender buds to blossoms ... and you know

It was in summer that I saw you first.

I love the winter dearly too, ... but then

I owe it so much ; on a winter's day,
Bleak, cold, and stormy, you returned again,

When you had been those weary months away.

I love the stars like friends; so many nights

I gazed at them, when you were far from me, Till I grew blind with tears ... those far-off lights

Could watch you, whom I longed in vain to see.

I love the Powers; happy hours lie

Shut up within their petals close and fast : You have forgotteu, dear; but they and I

Keep every fragment of the golden Past.

I love, too, to be loved; all loving praise

Seems like a crown upon my life, - to make It better worth the giving, and to raise

Still nearer to your own the heart you take.

I love all good and noble souls ;- I heard

One speak of you but lately, and for days, Only to think of it, my soul was stirred

In tender memory of such generous praise.

I love all those who love you, all who owe

Comfort to you ; and I can find regret Even for those poorer hearts who once could know,

And once could love you, and can now forget.

Well, is my heart so narrow, - I, who spare

Love for all these? Do I not even hold My favorite books in special tender care,

And prize them as a miser does his gold?

The poets that you used to read to me

While summer twilights faded in the sky; But most of all I think Aurora Leigh,

Because — because -- do you remember why?


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