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- The Home Book of Verse, Volume 2 - 5/175 -


Retreat destroys him, Love brooks not a Degraded throne.

Wait not, fond lover! Till years are over, And then recover, As from a dream. While each bewailing The other's failing, With wrath and railing, All hideous seem - While first decreasing, Yet not quite ceasing, Wait not till teasing All passion blight: If once diminished Love's reign is finished - Then part in friendship, - And bid good-night.

So shall Affection To recollection The dear connection Bring back with joy: You had not waited Till, tired or hated, Your passions sated Began to cloy. Your last embraces Leave no cold traces - The same fond faces As through the past; And eyes, the mirrors Of your sweet errors, Reflect but rapture - Not least though last.

True, separations Ask more than patience; What desperations From such have risen! But yet remaining, What is't but chaining Hearts which, once waning, Beat 'gainst their prison? Time can but cloy love, And use destroy love: The winged boy, Love, Is but for boys - You'll find it torture Though sharper, shorter, To wean and not Wear out your joys.

George Gordon Byron [1788-1824]

"THEY SPEAK O' WILES"

They speak o' wiles in woman's smiles, An' ruin in her ee; I ken they bring a pang at whiles That's unco' sair to dree;

But mind ye this, the half-ta'en kiss, The first fond fa'in' tear, Is, heaven kens, fu' sweet amends, An' tints o' heaven here.

When two leal hearts in fondness meet, Life's tempests howl in vain; The very tears o' love are sweet When paid with tears again.

Shall hapless prudence shake its pow? Shall cauldrife caution fear? Oh, dinna, dinna droun the lowe That lights a heaven here!

William Thom [1798?-1848]

"LOVE WILL FIND OUT THE WAY"

Over the mountains And over the waves, Under the fountains And under the graves, Under floods that are deepest, Which Neptune obey, Over rocks that are steepest, Love will find out the way.

Where there is no place For the glow-worm to lie, Where there is no space For receipt of a fly, Where the midge dares not venture, Lest herself fast she lay, If Love come, he will enter, And find out the way.

You may esteem him A child for his might, Or you may deem him A coward from his flight: But if she whom Love doth honor Be concealed from the day, Set a thousand guards upon her, Love will find out the way.

Some think to lose him, By having him confined, And some do suppose him, Poor thing, to be blind; But if ne'er so close ye wall him, Do the best that you may, Blind Love, if so ye call him, Will find out the way.

You may train the eagle To stoop to your fist, Or you may inveigle The phoenix of the east; The tiger, ye may move her To give over her prey; But you'll ne'er stop a lover - He will find out the way.

Unknown

A WOMAN'S SHORTCOMINGS

She has laughed as softly as if she sighed, She has counted six, and over, Of a purse well filled, and a heart well tried - Oh, each a worthy lover! They "give her time"; for her soul must slip Where the world has set the grooving; She will lie to none with her fair red lip: But love seeks truer loving.

She trembles her fan in a sweetness dumb, As her thoughts were beyond recalling; With a glance for one, and a glance for some, From her eyelids rising and falling; Speaks common words with a blushful air, Hears bold words, unreproving; But her silence says - what she never will swear - And love seeks better loving.

Go, lady! lean to the night-guitar, And drop a smile to the bringer; Then smile as sweetly, when he is far, At the voice of an in-door singer. Bask tenderly beneath tender eyes; Glance lightly, on their removing; And join new vows to old perjuries - But dare not call it loving!

Unless you can think, when the song is done, No other is soft in the rhythm; Unless you can feel, when left by One, That all men else go with him; Unless you can know, when unpraised by his breath, That your beauty itself wants proving; Unless you can swear "For life, for death!" - Oh, fear to call it loving!

Unless you can muse in a crowd all day On the absent face that fixed you; Unless you can love, as the angels may, With the breadth of heaven betwixt you; Unless you can dream that his faith is fast, Through behoving and unbehoving; Unless you can die when the dream is past - Oh, never call it loving!

Elizabeth Barrett Browning [1806-1861]

"LOVE HATH A LANGUAGE" From "To My Son"

Love hath a language for all years - Fond hieroglyphs, obscure and old - Wherein the heart reads, writ in tears, The tale which never yet was told.

Love hath his meter too, to trace Those bounds which never yet were given, - To measure that which mocks at space, Is deep as death, and high as heaven.

Love hath his treasure hoards, to pay True faith, or goodly service done, - Dear priceless nothings, which outweigh All riches that the sun shines on.


The Home Book of Verse, Volume 2 - 5/175

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