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The Home Book of Verse, Volume 2 by Burton Egbert Stevenson

Part 8 out of 18

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Oh, did you see him riding down,
And riding down, while all the town
Came out to see, came out to see,
And all the bells rang mad with glee?

Oh, did you hear those bells ring out,
The bells ring out, the people shout,
And did you hear that cheer on cheer
That over all the bells rang clear?

And did you see the waving flags,
The fluttering flags, the tattered flags,
Red, white, and blue, shot through and through;
Baptized with battle's deadly dew?

And did you hear the drums' gay beat,
The drums' gay beat, the bugles sweet,
The cymbals' clash, the cannons' crash,
That rent the sky with sound and flash?

And did you see me waiting there,
Just waiting there, and watching there.
One little lass, amid the mass
That pressed to see the hero pass?

And did you see him smiling down,
And smiling down, as riding down
With slowest pace, with stately grace,
He caught the vision of a face, -

My face uplifted red and white,
Turned red and white with sheer delight,
To meet the eyes, the smiling eyes,
Outflashing in their swift surprise?

Oh, did you see how swift it came,
How swift it came like sudden flame,
That smile to me, to only me.
The little lass who blushed to see?

And at the windows all along,
Oh, all along, a lovely throng
Of faces fair, beyond compare,
Beamed out upon him riding there!

Each face was like a radiant gem,
A sparkling gem, and yet for them
No swift smile came like sudden flame,
No arrowy glance took certain aim.

He turned away from all their grace,
From all that grace of perfect face,
He turned to me, to only me,
The little lass who blushed to see!

Nora Perry [1832-1896]

"FORGETTIN"

The night when last I saw my lad
His eyes were bright an' wet.
He took my two hands in his own,
"'Tis well," says he, "we're met.
Asthore machree! the likes o' me
I bid ye now forget."

Ah, sure the same's a thriflin' thing,
'Tis more I'd do for him!
I mind the night I promised well,
Away on Ballindim. -
An' every little while or so
I thry forgettin' Jim.

It shouldn't take that long to do,
An' him not very tall:
'Tis quare the way I'll hear his voice,
A boy that's out o' call, -
An' whiles I'll see him stand as plain
As e'er a six-fut wall.

Och, never fear, my jewel!
I'd forget ye now this minute,
If I only had a notion
O' the way I should begin it;
But first an' last it isn't known
The heap o' throuble's in it.

Meself began the night ye went
An' hasn't done it yet;
I'm nearly fit to give it up,
For where's the use to fret? -
An' the memory's fairly spoilt on me
Wid mindin' to forget.

Moira O'Neill [18

"ACROSS THE FIELDS TO ANNE"

How often in the summer-tide,
His graver business set aside,
Has stripling Will, the thoughtful-eyed,
As to the pipe of Pan,
Stepped blithesomely with lover's pride
Across the fields to Anne.

It must have been a merry mile,
This summer stroll by hedge and stile,
With sweet foreknowledge all the while
How sure the pathway ran
To dear delights of kiss and smile,
Across the fields to Anne.

The silly sheep that graze to-day,
I wot, they let him go his way,
Nor once looked up, as who would say:
"It is a seemly man."
For many lads went wooing aye
Across the fields to Anne.

The oaks, they have a wiser look;
Mayhap they whispered to the brook:
"The world by him shall yet be shook,
It is in nature's plan;
Though now he fleets like any rook
Across the fields to Anne."

And I am sure, that on some hour
Coquetting soft 'twixt sun and shower,
He stooped and broke a daisy-flower
With heart of tiny span,
And bore it as a lover's dower
Across the fields to Anne.

While from her cottage garden-bed
She plucked a jasmin's goodlihede,
To scent his jerkin's brown instead;
Now since that love began,
What luckier swain than he who sped
Across the fields to Anne?

The winding path whereon I pace,
The hedgerows green, the summer's grace,
Are still before me face to face;
Methinks I almost can
Turn port and join the singing race
Across the fields to Anne.

Richard Burton [1861-

PAMELA IN TOWN

The fair Pamela came to town,
To London town, in early summer;
And up and down and round about
The beaux discussed the bright newcomer,
With "Gadzooks, sir," and "Ma'am, my duty,"
And "Odds my life, but 'tis a Beauty!"

To Ranelagh went Mistress Pam,
Sweet Mistress Pam so fair and merry,
With cheeks of cream and roses blent,
With voice of lark and lip of cherry.
Then all the beaux vowed 'twas their duty
To win and wear this country Beauty.

And first Frank Lovelace tried his wit,
With whispers bold and eyes still bolder;
The warmer grew his saucy flame,
Cold grew the charming fair and colder.
'Twas "icy bosom" - "cruel beauty" -
"To love, sweet Mistress, 'tis a duty."

Then Jack Carew his arts essayed,
With honeyed sighs and feigned weeping.
Good lack! his billets bound the curls
That pretty Pam she wore a-sleeping.
Next day these curls had richer beauty,
So well Jack's fervor did its duty.

Then Cousin Will came up to view
The way Pamela ruled the fashion;
He watched the gallants crowd about,
And flew into a rustic passion, -
Left "Squire, his mark," on divers faces,
And pinked Carew beneath his laces.

Alack! one night at Ranelagh
The pretty Sly-boots fell a-blushing;
And all the mettled bloods looked round
To see what caused that telltale flushing.
Up stepped a grizzled Poet Fellow
To dance with Pam a saltarello.

Then Jack and Frank and Will resolved,
With hand on sword and cutting glances,
That they would lead that Graybeard forth
To livelier tunes and other dances.
But who that saw Pam's eyes a-shining
With love and joy would see her pining!

And - oons! Their wrath cooled as they looked, -
That Poet stared as fierce as any!
He was a mighty proper man,
With blade on hip and inches many;
The beaux all vowed it was their duty
To toast some newer, softer Beauty.

Sweet Pam she bridled, blushed and smiled -
The wild thing loved and could but show it!
Mayhap some day you'll see in town
Pamela and her grizzled Poet.
Forsooth he taught the rogue her duty,
And won her faith, her love, her beauty.

Ellen Mackay Hutchinson Cortissoz [?-1933]

YES?

Is it true, then, my girl, that you mean it -
The word spoken yesterday night?
Does that hour seem so sweet now between it
And this has come day's sober light?
Have you woke from a moment of rapture
To remember, regret, and repent,
And to hate, perchance, him who has trapped your
Unthinking consent?

Who was he, last evening - this fellow
Whose audacity lent him a charm?
Have you promised to wed Pulchinello?
For life taking Figaro's arm?
Will you have the Court fool of the papers,
The clown in the journalists' ring,
Who earns his scant bread by his capers,
To be your heart's king?

When we met quite by chance at the theatre
And I saw you home under the moon,
I'd no thought, love, that mischief would be at her
Tricks with my tongue quite so soon;
That I should forget fate and fortune
Make a difference 'twixt Sevres and delf -
That I'd have the calm nerve to importune
You, sweet, for yourself.

It's appalling, by Jove, the audacious
Effrontery of that request!
But you - you grew suddenly gracious,
And hid your sweet face on my breast.
Why you did it I cannot conjecture;
I surprised you, poor child, I dare say,
Or perhaps - does the moonlight affect your
Head often that way?

. . . . . . . . . . .

You're released! With some wooer replace me
More worthy to be your life's light;
From the tablet of memory efface me,
If you don't mean your Yes of last night.
But - unless you are anxious to see me a
Wreck of the pipe and the cup
In my birthplace and graveyard, Bohemia -
Love, don't give me up!

Henry Cuyler Bunner [1855-1896]

THE PRIME OF LIFE

Just as I thought I was growing old,
Ready to sit in my easy chair,
To watch the world with a heart grown cold,
And smile at a folly I would not share,

Rose came by with a smile for me,
And I am thinking that forty year
Isn't the age that it seems to be,
When two pretty brown eyes are near.

Bless me! of life it is just the prime,
A fact that I hope she will understand;
And forty year is a perfect rhyme
To dark brown eyes and a pretty hand.

These gray hairs are by chance, you see -
Boys are sometimes gray, I am told:
Rose came by with a smile for me,
Just as I thought I was getting old.

Walter Learned [1847-1915]

THOUGHTS ON THE COMMANDMENTS

"Love your neighbor as yourself," -
So the parson preaches:
That's one half the Decalogue, -
So the prayer-book teaches.
Half my duty I can do
With but little labor,
For with all my heart and soul
I do love my neighbor.

Mighty little credit, that,
To my self-denial,
Not to love her, though, might be
Something of a trial.
Why, the rosy light, that peeps
Through the glass above her,
Lingers round her lips, - you see
E'en the sunbeams love her.

So to make my merit more,
I'll go beyond the letter: -
Love my neighbor as myself?
Yes, and ten times better.
For she's sweeter than the breath
Of the Spring, that passes
Through the fragrant, budding woods,
O'er the meadow-grasses.

And I've preached the word I know,
For it was my duty
To convert the stubborn heart
Of the little beauty.
Once again success has crowned
Missionary labor,
For her sweet eyes own that she
Also loves her neighbor.

George Augustus Baker [1849-1906]

THE IRONY OF LOVE

"SIGH NO MORE, LADIES"
From "Much Ado About Nothing"

Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more,
Men were deceivers ever;
One foot in sea, and one on shore;
To one thing constant never.
Then sigh not so,
But let them go,
And be you blithe and bonny,
Converting all your sounds of woe
Into Hey nonny, nonny.

Sing no more ditties, sing no moe
Of dumps so dull and heavy;
The fraud of men was ever so,
Since summer first was leavy.
Then sigh not so,
But let them go,
And be you blithe and bonny,
Converting all your sounds of woe
Into Hey nonny, nonny.

William Shakespeare [1564-1616]

A RENUNCIATION

If women could be fair, and yet not fond,
Or that their love were firm, not fickle still,
I would not marvel that they make men bond
By service long to purchase their good will;
But when I see how frail those creatures are,
I muse that men forget themselves so far.

To mark the choice they make, and how they change,
How oft from Phoebus they do flee to Pan;
Unsettled still, like haggards wild they range,
These gentle birds that fly from man to man;
Who would not scorn and shake them from the fist,
And let them fly, fair fools, which way they list?

Yet for disport we fawn and flatter both,
To pass the time when nothing else can please,
And train them to our lure with subtle oath,
Till, weary of their wiles, ourselves we ease;
And then we say when we their fancy try,
To play with fools, O what a fool was I!

Edward Vere [1550-1604]

A SONG

Ye happy swains, whose hearts are free
From Love's imperial chain,
Take warning, and be taught by me,
To avoid the enchanting pain;
Fatal the wolves to trembling flocks,
Fierce winds to blossoms prove,
To careless seamen, hidden rocks,
To human quiet, love.

Fly the fair sex, if bliss you prize;
The snake's beneath the flower:
Who ever gazed on beauteous eyes,
That tasted quiet more?
How faithless is the lovers' joy!
How constant is their care
The kind with falsehood to destroy,
The cruel, with despair.

George Etherege [1635?-1691]

TO HIS FORSAKEN MISTRESS

I do confess thou'rt smooth and fair,
And I might have gone near to love thee,
Had I not found the slightest prayer
That lips could speak, had power to move thee:
But I can let thee now alone
As worthy to be loved by none.

I do confess thou'rt sweet; yet find
Thee such an unthrift of thy sweets,
Thy favors are but like the wind
That kisseth everything it meets:
And since thou canst with more than one,
Thou'rt worthy to be kissed by none.

The morning rose that untouched stands
Armed with her briers, how sweet her smell!
But plucked and strained through ruder hands,
Her sweets no longer with her dwell:
But scent and beauty both are gone,
And leaves fall from her, one by one.

Such fate ere long will thee betide
When thou hast handled been awhile,
With sere flowers to be thrown aside;
And I shall sigh, while some will smile,
To see thy love to every one
Hath brought thee to be loved by none.

Robert Ayton [1570-1638]

TO AN INCONSTANT

I loved thee once; I'll love no more, -
Thine be the grief as is the blame;
Thou art not what thou wast before,
What reason I should be the same?
He that can love unloved again,
Hath better store of love than brain:
God send me love my debts to pay,
While unthrifts fool their love away!

Nothing could have my love o'erthrown,
If thou hadst still continued mine;
Yea, if thou hadst remained thy own,
I might perchance have yet been thine.
But thou thy freedom didst recall,
That it thou might elsewhere enthrall:
And then how could I but disdain
A captive's captive to remain?

When new desires had conquered thee,
And changed the object of thy will,
It had been lethargy in me,
Not constancy, to love thee still.
Yea, it had been a sin to go
And prostitute affection so,
Since we are taught no prayers to say
To such as must to others pray.

Yet do thou glory in thy choice, -
Thy choice of his good fortune boast;
I'll neither grieve nor yet rejoice,
To see him gain what I have lost:
The height of my disdain shall be,
To laugh at him, to blush for thee;
To love thee still, but go no more
A-begging at a beggar's door.

Robert Ayton [1570-1638]

ADVICE TO A GIRL

Never love unless you can
Bear with all the faults of man!
Men sometimes will jealous be,
Though but little cause they see,
And hang the head, as discontent,
And speak what straight they will repent.

Men, that but one Saint adore,
Make a show of love to more;
Beauty must be scorned in none,
Though but truly served in one:
For what is courtship but disguise?
True hearts may have dissembling eyes.

Men, when their affairs require,
Must awhile themselves retire;
Sometimes hunt, and sometimes hawk,
And not ever sit and talk: -
If these and such-like you can bear,
Then like, and love, and never fear!

Thomas Campion [? -1619]

SONG
That Women Are But Men's Shadows
From "The Forest"

Follow a shadow, it still flies you;
Seem to fly it, it will pursue:
So court a mistress, she denies you;
Let her alone, she will court you.
Say, are not women truly, then,
Styled but the shadows of us men?

At morn and even, shades are longest;
At noon they are or short or none:
So men at weakest, they are strongest,
But grant us perfect, they're not known.
Say, are not women truly then,
Styled but the shadows of us men?

Ben Johnson [1573?-1637]

TRUE BEAUTY

May I find a woman fair
And her mind as clear as air!
If her beauty go alone,
'Tis to me as if 'twere none.

May I find a woman rich,
And not of too high a pitch!
If that pride should cause disdain,
Tell me, Lover, where's thy gain?

May I find a woman wise,
And her falsehood not disguise!
Hath she wit as she hath will,
Double-armed she is to ill.

May I find a woman kind,
And not wavering like the wind!
How should I call that love mine
When 'tis his, and his, and thine?

May I find a woman true!
There is beauty's fairest hue:
There is beauty, love, and wit.
Happy he can compass it!

Francis Beaumont [1584-1616]

THE INDIFFERENT

Never more will I protest
To love a woman but in jest:
For as they cannot be true,
So to give each man his due,
When the wooing fit is past,
Their affection cannot last.

Therefore if I chance to meet
With a mistress fair and sweet,
She my service shall obtain,
Loving her for love again:
Thus much liberty I crave
Not to be a constant slave.

But when we have tried each other,
If she better like another,
Let her quickly change for me;
Then to change am I as free.
He or she that loves too long
Sell their freedom for a song.

Francis Beaumont [1584-1616]

THE LOVER'S RESOLUTION

Shall I, wasting in despair,
Die because a woman's fair?
Or make pale my cheeks with care
'Cause another's rosy are?
Be she fairer than the day,
Or the flowery meads in May,
If she think not well of me,
What care I how fair she be?

Shall my silly heart be pined
'Cause I see a woman kind?
Or a well disposed nature
Joined with a lovely feature?
Be she meeker, kinder, than
Turtle-dove or pelican,
If she be not so to me,
What care I how kind she be?

Shall a woman's virtues move
Me to perish for her love?
Or her well-deservings known
Make me quite forget my own?
Be she with that goodness blest
Which may merit name of Best,
If she be not such to me,
What care I how good she be?

'Cause her fortune seems too high,
Shall I play the fool and die?
She that bears a noble mind,
If not outward helps she find,
Thinks what with them he would do
That without them dares her woo;
And unless that mind I see,
What care I how great she be?

Great, or good, or kind, or fair,
I will ne'er the more despair;
If she love me, this believe,
I will die ere she shall grieve;
If she slight me when I woo,
I can scorn and let her go;
For if she be not for me,
What care I for whom she be?

George Wither [1588-1667]

HIS FURTHER RESOLUTION

Shall I (like a hermit) dwell
On a rock or in a cell;
Calling home the smallest part
That is missing of my heart,
To bestow it where I may
Meet a rival every day?
If she undervalue me,
What care I how fair she be!

Were her tresses angel-gold;
If a stranger may be bold,
Unrebuked, and unafraid,
To convert them to a braid;
And, with little more ado,
Work them into bracelets, too!
If the mine be grown so free,
What care I how rich it be!

Were her hands as rich a prize
As her hair or precious eyes;
If she lay them out to take
Kisses for good manners' sake!
And let every lover slip
From her hand unto her lip!
If she seem not chaste to me,
What care I how chaste she be!

No! She must be perfect snow
In effect as well as show!
Warming but as snowballs do;
Not like fire by burning, too!
But when she by change hath got
To her heart a second lot;
Then if others share with me,
Farewell her! whate'er she be!

Unknown

SONG
From "Britannia's Pastorals"

Shall I tell you whom I love?
Hearken then awhile to me;
And if such a woman move
As I now shall versify,
Be assured 'tis she or none,
That I love, and love alone.

Nature did her so much right
As she scorns the help of art;
In as many virtues dight
As e'er yet embraced a heart:
So much good so truly tried,
Some for less were deified.

Wit she hath, without desire
To make known how much she hath;
And her anger flames no higher
Than may fitly sweeten wrath.
Full of pity as may be,
Though perhaps not so to me.

Reason masters every sense,
And her virtues grace her birth;
Lovely as all excellence,
Modest in her most of mirth,
Likelihood enough to prove
Only worth could kindle love.

Such she is: and if you know
Such a one as I have sung;
Be she brown, or fair, or so
That she be but somewhat young;
Be assured 'tis she, or none,
That I love, and love alone.

William Browne [1591-1643?]

TO DIANEME

Sweet, be not proud of those two eyes,
Which, star-like, sparkle in their skies;
Nor be you proud that you can see
All hearts your captives, yours yet free;
Be you not proud of that rich hair,
Which wantons with the love-sick air;
Whenas that ruby which you wear,
Sunk from the tip of your soft ear,
Will last to be a precious stone
When all your world of beauty's gone.

Robert Herrick [1591-1674]

INGRATEFUL BEAUTY THREATENED

Know, Celia, since thou art so proud,
'Twas I that gave thee thy renown.
Thou hadst in the forgotten crowd
Of common beauties lived unknown,
Had not my verse extolled thy name,
And with it imped the wings of Fame.

That killing power is none of thine;
I gave it to thy voice and eyes;
Thy sweets, thy graces, all are mine;
Thou art my star, shin'st in my skies;
Then dart not from thy borrowed sphere
Lightning on him that fixed thee there.

Tempt me with such affrights no more,
Lest what I made I uncreate;
Let fools thy mystic form adore,
I know thee in thy mortal state.
Wise poets, that wrapped Truth in tales,
Knew her themselves through all her veils.

Thomas Carew [1598?-1639?]

DISDAIN RETURNED

He that loves a rosy cheek,
Or a coral lip admires,
Or from star-like eyes doth seek
Fuel to maintain his fires:
As old Time makes these decay,
So his flames must waste away.

But a smooth and steadfast mind,
Gentle thoughts, and calm desires,
Hearts with equal love combined,
Kindle never-dying fires: -
Where these are not, I despise
Lovely cheeks, or lips, or eyes.

No tears, Celia, now shall win
My resolved heart to return;
I have searched thy soul within,
And find naught but pride and scorn;
I have learned thy arts, and now
Can disdain as much as thou.

Some power, in my revenge, convey
That love to her I cast away.

Thomas Carew [1598?-1639?]

"LOVE WHO WILL, FOR I'LL LOVE NONE"

Love who will, for I'll love none,
There's fools enough beside me:
Yet if each woman have not one,
Come to me where I hide me,
And if she can the place attain,
For once I'll be her fool again.

It is an easy place to find,
And women sure should know it;
Yet thither serves not every wind,
Nor many men can show it:
It is the storehouse, where doth lie
All woman's truth and constancy.

If the journey be so long,
No woman will adventer;
But dreading her weak vessel's wrong,
The voyage will not enter:
Then may she sigh and lie alone,
In love with all, yet loved of none.

William Browne [1591-1643]

VALERIUS ON WOMEN

She that denies me I would have;
Who craves me I despise:
Venus hath power to rule mine heart,
But not to please mine eyes.

Temptations offered I still scorn;
Denied, I cling them still;
I'll neither glut mine appetite,
Nor seek to starve my will.

Diana, double-clothed, offends;
So Venus, naked quite:
The last begets a surfeit, and
The other no delight.

That crafty girl shall please me best,
That no, for yea, can say;
And every wanton willing kiss
Can season with a nay.

Thomas Heywood [?-1650?]

DISPRAISE OF LOVE, AND LOVERS' FOLLIES

If love be life, I long to die,
Live they that list for me;
And he that gains the most thereby,
A fool at least shall be.
But he that feels the sorest fits,
'Scapes with no less than loss of wits.
Unhappy life they gain,
Which love do entertain.

In day by feigned looks they live,
By lying dreams in night;
Each frown a deadly wound doth give,
Each smile a false delight.
If't hap their lady pleasant seem,
It is for others' love they deem:
If void she seem of joy,
Disdain doth make her coy.

Such is the peace that lovers find,
Such is the life they lead,
Blown here and there with every wind,
Like flowers in the mead;
Now war, now peace, now war again,
Desire, despair, delight, disdain:
Though dead in midst of life,
In peace, and yet at strife.

Francis Davison [fl. 1602]

THE CONSTANT LOVER

Out upon it, I have loved
Three whole days together!
And am like to love three more,
If it prove fair weather.

Time shall moult away his wings,
Ere he shall discover
In the whole wide world again
Such a constant lover.

But the spite on't is, no praise
Is due at all to me:
Love with me had made no stays,
Had it any been but she.

Had it any been but she,
And that very face,
There had been at least ere this
A dozen in her place.

John Suckling [1609-1642]

SONG
From "Aglaura"

Why so pale and wan, fond lover?
Prithee, why so pale?
Will, when looking well can't move her,
Looking ill prevail?
Prithee, why so pale?

Why so dull and mute, young sinner?
Prithee, why so mute?
Will, when speaking well can't win her,
Saying nothing do't?
Prithee, why so mute?

Quit, quit, for shame, this will not move:
This cannot take her.
If of herself she will not love,
Nothing can make her:
The devil take her!

John Suckling [1609-1642]

WISHES TO HIS SUPPOSED MISTRESS

Whoe'er she be,
That not impossible She
That shall command my heart and me:

Where'er she lie,
Locked up from mortal eye
In shady leaves of destiny:

Till that ripe birth
Of studied Fate stand forth,
And teach her fair steps tread our earth:

Till that divine
Idea take a shrine
Of crystal flesh, through which to shine;

Meet you her, my Wishes,
Bespeak her to my blisses,
And be ye called my absent kisses.

I wish her Beauty
That owes not all its duty
To gaudy tire, or glistering shoe-tie:

Something more than
Taffeta or tissue can,
Or rampant feather, or rich fan.

More than the spoil
Of shop, or silkworm's toil,
Or a bought blush, or a set smile.

A Face that's best
By its own beauty dressed,
And can alone commend the rest

A Face, made up
Out of no other shop
Than what Nature's white hand sets ope.

A Cheek, where youth
And blood, with pen of truth,
Write what the reader sweetly ru'th.

A Cheek, where grows
More than a morning rose,
Which to no box its being owes.

Lips, where all day
A lover's kiss may play,
Yet carry nothing thence away.

Looks, that oppress
Their richest tires, but dress
And clothe their simplest nakedness.

Eyes, that displace
The neighbor diamond, and outface
That sunshine by their own sweet grace.

Tresses, that wear
Jewels but to declare
How much themselves more precious are:

Whose native ray
Can tame the wanton day
Of gems that in their bright shades play.

Each ruby there,
Or pearl that dare appear,
Be its own blush, be its own tear.

A well-tamed Heart,
For whose more noble smart
Love may be long choosing a dart.

Eyes, that bestow
Full quivers on Love's bow,
Yet pay less arrows than they owe.

Smiles, that can warm
The blood, yet teach a charm,
That chastity shall take no harm.

Blushes, that bin
The burnish of no sin,
Nor flames of aught too hot within.

Joys, that confess
Virtue their mistress,
And have no other head to dress.

Fears, fond and slight
As the coy bride's, when night,
First does the longing lover right.

Days that need borrow
No part of their good-morrow
From a fore-spent night of sorrow.

Days that, in spite
Of darkness, by the light
Of a clear mind, are day all night.

Nights, sweet as they,
Made short by lovers' play,
Yet long by the absence of the day.

Life, that dares send
A challenge to his end,
And when it comes, say, "Welcome, friend!"

Sydneian showers
Of sweet discourse, whose powers
Can crown old Winter's head with flowers.

Soft silken hours,
Open suns, shady bowers;
'Bove all, nothing within that lowers.

Whate'er delight
Can make Day's forehead bright,
Or give down to the wings of Night.

In her whole frame
Have Nature all the name;
Art and Ornament, the shame!

Her flattery,
Picture and Poesy:
Her counsel her own virtue be.

I wish her store
Of worth may leave her poor
Of wishes; and I wish - no more.

Now, if Time knows
That Her, whose radiant brows
Weave them a garland of my vows;

Her, whose just bays
My future hopes can raise,
A trophy to her present praise;

Her, that dares be
What these lines wish to see;
I seek no further, it is She.

'Tis She, and here,
Lo! I unclothe and clear
My Wishes' cloudy character.

May She enjoy it
Whose merit dare apply it,
But modesty dares still deny it!

Such worth as this is
Shall fix my flying Wishes,
And determine them to kisses.

Let her full glory,
My fancies, fly before ye;
Be ye my fictions - but her Story!

Richard Crashaw [1613?-1649]

SONG
From "Abdelazer"

Love in fantastic triumph sate
Whilst bleeding hearts around him flowed,
For whom fresh pains he did create
And strange tyrannic power he showed:
From thy bright eyes he took his fires,
Which round about in sport he hurled;
But 'twas from mine he took desires
Enough t' undo the amorous world.

From me he took his sighs and tears,
From thee his pride and cruelty;
From me his languishments and fears,
And every killing dart from thee.
Thus thou and I the god have armed
And set him up a deity;
But my poor heart alone is harmed,
Whilst thine the victor is, and free!

Aphra Behn [1640-1689]

LES AMOURS

She that I pursue, still flies me;
Her that follows me, I fly;
She that I still court, denies me;
Her that courts me, I deny;
Thus in one web we're subtly wove,
And yet we mutiny in love.

She that can save me, must not do it;
She that cannot, fain would do;
Her love is bound, yet I still woo it;
Hers by love is bound in woe:
Yet how can I of love complain,
Since I have love for love again?

This is thy work, imperious Child,
Thine's this labyrinth of love,
That thus hast our desires beguiled,
Nor seest how thine arrows rove.
Then, prithee, to compose this stir,
Make her love me, or me love her.

But, if irrevocable are
Those keen shafts that wound us so,
Let me prevail with thee thus far,
That thou once more take thy bow;
Wound her hard heart, and by my troth,
I'll be content to take them both.

Charles Cotton [1630-1687]

RIVALS

Of all the torments, all the cares,
With which our lives are cursed;
Of all the plagues a lover bears,
Sure rivals are the worst!
By partners in each other kind
Afflictions easier grow;
In love alone we hate to find
Companions of our woe.

Sylvia, for all the pangs you see
Are laboring in my breast,
I beg not you would favor me,
Would you but slight the rest!
How great soe'er your rigors are,
With them alone I'll cope;
I can endure my own despair,
But not another's hope.

William Walsh [1663-1708]

"I LATELY VOWED, BUT 'TWAS IN HASTE"

I lately vowed, but 'twas in haste,
That I no more would court
The joys which seem when they are past
As dull as they are short.

I oft to hate my mistress swear,
But soon my weakness find:
I make my oaths when she's severe,
But break them when she's kind.

John Oldmixon [1673-1742]

THE TOUCH-STONE

A fool and knave with different views
For Julia's hand apply;
The knave to mend his fortune sues,
The fool to please his eye.

Ask you how Julia will behave,
Depend on't for a rule,
If she's a fool she'll wed the knave -
If she's a knave, the fool.

Samuel Bishop [1731-1795]

AIR
From "The Duenna"

I ne'er could any luster see
In eyes that would not look on me;
I ne'er saw nectar on a lip,
But where my own did hope to sip.
Has the maid who seeks my heart
Cheeks of rose, untouched by art?
I will own the color true
When yielding blushes aid their hue.

Is her hand so soft and pure?
I must press it, to be sure;
Nor can I be certain then,
Till it, grateful, press again.
Must I, with attentive eye,
Watch her heaving bosom sigh?
I will do so, when I see
That heaving bosom sigh for me.

Richard Brinsley Sheridan [1751-1816]

"I TOOK A HANSOM ON TO-DAY"

I took a hansom on to-day,
For a round I used to know -
That I used to take for a woman's sake
In a fever of to-and-fro.

There were the landmarks one and all -
What did they stand to show?
Street and square and river were there -
Where was the ancient woe?

Never a hint of a challenging hope
Nor a hope laid sick and low,
But a longing dead as its kindred sped
A thousand years ago!

William Ernest Henley [1849-1903]

DA CAPO

Short and sweet, and we've come to the end of it -
Our poor little love lying cold.
Shall no sonnet, then, ever be penned of it?
Nor the joys and pains of it told?
How fair was its face in the morning,
How close its caresses at noon,
How its evening grew chill without warning,
Unpleasantly soon!

I can't say just how we began it -
In a blush, or a smile, or a sigh;
Fate took but an instant to plan it;
It needs but a moment to die.
Yet - remember that first conversation,
When the flowers you had dropped at your feet
I restored. The familiar quotation
Was - "Sweets to the sweet."

Oh, their delicate perfume has haunted
My senses a whole season through.
If there was one soft charm that you wanted
The violets lent it to you.
I whispered you, life was but lonely:
A cue which you graciously took;
And your eyes learned a look for me only -
A very nice look.

And sometimes your hand would touch my hand,
With a sweetly particular touch;
You said many things in a sigh, and
Made a look express wondrously much.
We smiled for the mere sake of smiling,
And laughed for no reason but fun;
Irrational joys; but beguiling -
And all that is done!

We were idle, and played for a moment
At a game that now neither will press:
I cared not to find out what "No" meant;
Nor your lips to grow yielding with "Yes."
Love is done with and dead; if there lingers
A faint and indefinite ghost,
It is laid with this kiss on your fingers -
A jest at the most.

'Tis a commonplace, stale situation,
Now the curtain comes down from above
On the end of our little flirtation -
A travesty romance; for Love,
If he climbed in disguise to your lattice,
Fell dead of the first kisses' pain:
But one thing is left us now; that is -
Begin it again.

Henry Cuyler Bunner [1855-1896]

SONG AGAINST WOMEN

Why should I sing of women
And the softness of night,
When the dawn is loud with battle
And the day's teeth bite,
And there's a sword to lay my hand to
And a man's fight?

Why should I sing of women? . . .
There's life in the sun,
And red adventure calling
Where the roads run,
And cheery brews at the tavern
When the day's done.

I've sung of a hundred women
In a hundred lands:
But all their love is nothing
But drifting sands.
I'm sick of their tears and kisses
And their pale hands.

I've sung of a hundred women
And their bought lips;
But out on the clean horizon
I can hear the whips
Of the white waves lashing the bulwarks
Of great, strong ships:

And the trails that run to the westward
Are shot with fire,
And the winds hurl from the headland
With ancient ire;
And all my body itches
With an old desire.

So I'll deal no more in women
And the softness of night,
But I'll follow the red adventure
And the wind's flight;
And I'll sing of the sea and of battle
And of men's might.

Willard Huntington Wright [18

SONG OF THYRSIS

The turtle on yon withered bough,
That lately mourned her murdered mate,
Has found another comrade now -
Such changes all await!
Again her drooping plume is drest,
Again she's willing to be blest
And takes her lover to her nest.

If nature has decreed it so
With all above, and all below,
Let us like them forget our woe,
And not be killed with sorrow.
If I should quit your arms to-night
And chance to die before 'twas light,
I would advise you - and you might -
Love again to-morrow.

Philip Freneau [1752-1832]

THE TEST

I held her hand, the pledge of bliss,
Her hand that trembled and withdrew;
She bent her head before my kiss . . .
My heart was sure that hers was true.
Now I have told her I must part,
She shakes my hand, she bids adieu,
Nor shuns the kiss. Alas, my heart!
Hers never was the heart for you.

Walter Savage Landor [1775-1864]

"THE FAULT IS NOT MINE"

The fault is not mine if I love you too much,
I loved you too little too long,
Such ever your graces, your tenderness such,
And the music the heart gave the tongue.

A time is now coming when Love must be gone,
Though he never abandoned me yet.
Acknowledge our friendship, our passion disown,
Our follies (ah can you?) forget.

Walter Savage Lander [1775-1864]

THE SNAKE

My love and I, the other day,
Within a myrtle arbor lay,
When near us, from a rosy bed,
A little Snake put forth its head.

"See," said the maid, with laughing eyes -
"Yonder the fatal emblem lies!
Who could expect such hidden harm
Beneath the rose's velvet charm?"

Never did moral thought occur
In more unlucky hour than this;
For oh! I just was leading her
To talk of love and think of bliss.

I rose to kill the snake, but she
In pity prayed it might not be.
"No," said the girl - and many a spark
Flashed from her eyelid as she said it -
"Under the rose, or in the dark,
One might, perhaps, have cause to dread it;
But when its wicked eyes appear,
And when we know for what they wink so,
One must be very simple, dear,
To let it sting one - don't you think so?"

Thomas Moore [1779-1852]

"WHEN I LOVED YOU"

When I loved you, I can't but allow
I had many an exquisite minute;
But the scorn that I feel for you now
Hath even more luxury in it!

Thus, whether we're on or we're off,
Some witchery seems to await you;
To love you is pleasant enough,
And oh! 'tis delicious to hate you!

Thomas Moore [1779-1852]

A TEMPLE TO FRIENDSHIP

"A temple to Friendship," said Laura, enchanted,
"I'll build in this garden, - the thought is divine!"
Her temple was built, and she now only wanted
An image of Friendship to place on the shrine.
She flew to a sculptor, who set down before her
A Friendship, the fairest his art could invent;
But so cold and so dull, that the youthful adorer
Saw plainly this was not the idol she meant.

"O never," she cried, "could I think of enshrining
An image whose looks are so joyless and dim: -
But yon little god, upon roses reclining,
We'll make, if you please, sir, a Friendship of him."
So the bargain was struck. With the little god laden
She joyfully flew to her shrine in the grove:
"Farewell," said the sculptor, "you're not the first maiden
Who came but for Friendship and took away Love!"

Thomas Moore [1779-1852]

THE GLOVE AND THE LIONS

King Francis was a hearty king, and loved a royal sport,
And one day, as his lions fought, sat looking on the court.
The nobles filled the benches, and the ladies in their pride,
And 'mongst them sat the Count de Lorge, with one for whom he sighed:
And truly 'twas a gallant thing to see that crowning show,
Valor and love, and a king above, and the royal beasts below.

Ramped and roared the lions, with horrid laughing jaws;
They bit, they glared, gave blows like beams, a wind went with their paws;
With wallowing might and stifled roar they rolled on one another,
Till all the pit with sand and mane was in a thunderous smother;
The bloody foam above the bars came whisking through the air;
Said Francis then, "Faith, gentlemen, we're better here than there."

De Lorge's love o'erheard the King, a beauteous lively dame,
With smiling lips and sharp bright eyes, which always seemed the same;
She thought, "The Count, my lover, is brave as brave can be;
He surely would do wondrous things to show his love of me;
King, ladies, lovers, all look on; the occasion is divine;
I'll drop my glove to prove his love; great glory will be mine."

She dropped her glove, to prove his love, then looked at him and smiled;
He bowed, and in a moment leaped among the lions wild;
The leap was quick, return was quick, he has regained his place,
Then threw the glove, but not with love, right in the lady's face.
"By Heaven," said Francis, "rightly done!" and he rose from where he sat;
"No love," quoth he, "but vanity, sets love a task like that."

Leigh Hunt [1784-1859]

TO WOMAN

Woman! experience might have told me
That all must love thee who behold thee;
Surely experience might have taught
Thy firmest promises are naught;
But, placed in all thy charms before me,
All I forget, but to adore thee.
Oh, Memory! thou choicest blessing,
When joined with hope, when still possessing;
But how much cursed by every lover,
When hope is fled, and passion's over!
Woman, that fair and fond deceiver,
How prompt are striplings to believe her!
How throbs the pulse when first we view
The eye that rolls in glossy blue,
Or sparkles black, or mildly throws
A beam from under hazel brows!
How quick we credit every oath,
And hear her plight the willing troth!
Fondly we hope 'twill last for aye,
When, lo! she changes in a day.
This record will forever stand,
"Woman, thy vows are traced in sand."

George Gordon Byron [1788-1824]

LOVE'S SPITE

You take a town you cannot keep;
And, forced in turn to fly,
O'er ruins you have made shall leap
Your deadliest enemy!
Her love is yours - and be it so -
But can you keep it? No, no, no!

Upon her brow we gazed with awe,
And loved, and wished to love, in vain
But when the snow begins to thaw
We shun with scorn the miry plain.
Women with grace may yield: but she
Appeared some Virgin Deity.

Bright was her soul as Dian's crest
Whitening on Vesta's fane its sheen:
Cold looked she as the waveless breast
Of some stone Dian at thirteen.
Men loved: but hope they deemed to be
A sweet Impossibility!

Aubrey Thomas De Vere [1814-1902]

LADY CLARA VERE DE VERE

Lady Clara Vere de Vere,
Of me you shall not win renown:
You thought to break a country heart
For pastime, ere you went to town.
At me you smiled, but unbeguiled
I saw the snare, and I retired:
The daughter of a hundred earls,
You are not one to be desired.

Lady Clara Vere de Vere,
I know you proud to bear your name,
Your pride is yet no mate for mine,
Too proud to care from whence I came.
Nor would I break for your sweet sake
A heart that dotes on truer charms.
A simple maiden in her flower
Is worth a hundred coats-of-arms.

Lady Clara Vere de Vere,
Some meeker pupil you must find,
For, were you queen of all that is,
I could not stoop to such a mind.
You sought to prove how I could love,
And my disdain is my reply.
The lion on your old stone gates
Is not more cold to you than I.

Lady Clara Vere de Vere,
You put strange memories in my head.
Not thrice your branching limes have blown
Since I beheld young Laurence dead.
O, your sweet eyes, your low replies!
A great enchantress you may be;
But there was that across his throat
Which you had hardly cared to see.

Lady Clara Vere de Vere,
When thus he met his mother's view,
She had the passions of her kind,
She spake some certain truths of you.
Indeed I heard one bitter word
That scarce is fit for you to hear;
Her manners had not that repose
Which stamps the caste of Vere de Vere,

Lady Clara Vere de Vere,
There stands a specter in your hall;
The guilt of blood is at your door;
You changed a wholesome heart to gall.
You held your course without remorse,
To make him trust his modest worth,
And, last, you fixed a vacant stare,
And slew him with your noble birth.

Trust me, Clara Vere de Vere,
From yon blue heavens above us bent,
The gardener Adam and his wife
Smile at the claims of long descent.
Howe'er it be, it seems to me,
'Tis only noble to be good.
Kind hearts are more than coronets,
And simple faith than Norman blood.

I know you, Clara Vere de Vere;
You pine among your halls and towers:
The languid light of your proud eyes
Is wearied of the rolling hours.
In glowing health, with boundless wealth,
But sickening of a vague disease,
You know so ill to deal with time,
You needs must play such pranks as these.

Clara, Clara Vere de Vere,
If time be heavy on your hands,
Are there no beggars at your gate,
Nor any poor about your lands?
O, teach the orphan-boy to read,
Or teach the orphan-girl to sew,
Pray Heaven for a human heart,
And let the foolish yeoman go.

Alfred Tennyson [1809-1892]

SHADOWS

They seemed, to those who saw them meet,
The casual friends of every day,
Her smile was undisturbed and sweet,
His courtesy was free and gay.

But yet if one the other's name
In some unguarded moment heard,
The heart you thought so calm and tame
Would struggle like a captured bird:

And letters of mere formal phrase
Were blistered with repeated tears, -
And this was not the work of days,
But had gone on for years and years!

Alas, that love was not too strong
For maiden shame and manly pride!
Alas, that they delayed so long
The goal of mutual bliss beside!

Yet what no chance could then reveal,
And neither would be first to own,
Let fate and courage now conceal,
When truth could bring remorse alone.

Richard Monckton Milnes [1809-1885]

SORROWS OF WERTHER

Werther had a love for Charlotte
Such as words could never utter;
Would you know how first he met her?
She was cutting bread and butter.

Charlotte was a married lady,
And a moral man was Werther,
And, for all the wealth of Indies,
Would do nothing for to hurt her.

So he sighed and pined and ogled,
And his passion boiled and bubbled,
Till he blew his silly brains out,
And no more was by it troubled.

Charlotte, having seen his body
Borne before her on a shutter,
Like a well-conducted person,
Went on cutting bread and butter.

William Makepeace Thackeray [1811-1863]

THE AGE OF WISDOM

Ho, pretty page, with the dimpled chin,
That never has known the barber's shear,
All your wish is woman to win,
This is the way that boys begin, -
Wait till you come to Forty Year.

Curly gold locks cover foolish brains,
Billing and cooing is all your cheer;
Sighing, and singing of midnight strains,
Under Bonnybell's window-panes, -
Wait till you come to Forty Year.

Forty times over let Michaelmas pass,
Grizzling hair the brain does clear -
Then you know a boy is an ass,
Then you know the worth of a lass,
Once you have come to Forty Year.

Pledge me round; I bid ye declare,
All good fellows whose beards are gray,
Did not the fairest of the fair
Common grow and wearisome ere
Ever a month was passed away?

The reddest lips that ever have kissed,
The brightest eyes that ever have shone,
May pray and whisper, and we not list,
Or look away and never be missed,
Ere yet ever a month is gone.

Gillian's dead, God rest her bier,
How I loved her twenty years syne!
Marian's married, but I sit here,
Alone and merry at Forty Year,
Dipping my nose in the Gascon wine.

William Makepeace Thackeray [1811-1863]

ANDREA DEL SARTO
Called "The Faultless Painter"

But do not let us quarrel any more,
No, my Lucrezia; bear with me for once:
Sit down and all shall happen as you wish.
You turn your face, but does it bring your heart?
I'll work then for your friend's friend, never fear,
Treat his own subject after his own way,
Fix his own time, accept too his own price,
And shut the money into this small hand
When next it takes mine. Will it? tenderly?
Oh, I'll content him, - but to-morrow, Love!
I often am much wearier than you think,
This evening more than usual, and it seems
As if - forgive now - should you let me sit
Here by the window, with your hand in mine,
And look a half-hour forth on Fiesole,
Both of one mind, as married people use,
Quietly, quietly the evening through,
I might get up to-morrow to my work
Cheerful and fresh as ever. Let us try.
To-morrow how you shall be glad for this!
Your soft hand is a woman of itself,
And mine the man's bared breast she curls inside.
Don't count the time lost neither; you must serve
For each of the five pictures we require;
It saves a model. So! keep looking so
My serpentining beauty, rounds on rounds!
- How could you ever prick those perfect ears,
Even to put the pearl there! oh, so sweet -
My face, my moon, my everybody's moon,
Which everybody looks on and calls his,
And, I suppose, is looked on by in turn,
While she looks - no one's: very dear, no less.
You smile? why, there's my picture ready made,
There's what we painters call our harmony!
A common grayness silvers everything, -
All in a twilight, you and I alike
- You, at the point of your first pride in me
(That's gone you know), - but I, at every point;
My youth, my hope, my art, being all toned down
To yonder sober pleasant Fiesole.
There's the bell clinking from the chapel-top;
That length of convent wall across the way
Holds the trees safer, huddled more inside;
The last monk leaves the garden; days decrease,
And autumn grows, autumn in everything.
Eh? the whole seems to fall into a shape
As if I saw alike my work and self
And all that I was born to be and do,
A twilight-piece. Love, we are in God's hand.
How strange now looks the life he makes us lead;
So free we seem, so fettered fast we are!
I feel he laid the fetter; let it lie!
This chamber for example - turn your head -
All that's behind us! You don't understand
Nor care to understand about my art,
But you can hear at least when people speak:
And that cartoon, the second from the door
- It is the thing, Love! so such thing should be -
Behold Madonna! - I am bold to say.
I can do with my pencil what I know,
What I see, what at bottom of my heart
I wish for, if I ever wish so deep -
Do easily, too - when I say, perfectly,
I do not boast, perhaps: yourself are judge,
Who listened to the Legate's talk last week,
And just as much they used to say in France.
At any rate 'tis easy, all of it!
No sketches first, no studies, that's long past;
I do what many dream of all their lives,
- Dream? strive to do, and agonize to do,
And fail in doing. I could count twenty such
On twice your fingers, and not leave this town,
Who strive - you don't know how the others strive
To paint a little thing like that you smeared
Carelessly passing with your robes afloat, -
Yet do much less, so much less, Someone says,
(I know his name, no matter) - so much less!
Well, less is more, Lucrezia: I am judged.
There burns a truer light of God in them,
In their vexed beating stuffed and stopped-up brain,
Heart, or whate'er else, than goes on to prompt
This low-pulsed forthright craftsman's hand of mine.
Their works drop groundward, but themselves, I know,
Reach many a time a heaven that's shut to me,
Enter and take their place there sure enough,
Though they come back and cannot tell the world.
My works are nearer heaven, but I sit here.
The sudden blood of these men! at a word -
Praise them, it boils, or blame them, it boils too.
I, painting from myself and to myself,
Know what I do, am unmoved by men's blame
Or their praise either. Somebody remarks
Morello's outline there is wrongly traced,
His hue mistaken; what of that? or else,
Rightly traced and well ordered; what of that?
Speak as they please, what does the mountain care?
Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp,
Or what's a heaven for? All is silver-gray;
Placid and perfect with my art; the worse!
I know both what I want and what might gain;
And yet how profitless to know, to sigh
"Had I been two, another and myself,
Our head would have o'erlooked the world!" No doubt.
Yonder's a work now, of that famous youth
The Urbinate who died five years ago.
('Tis copied, George Vasari sent it me.)
Well, I can fancy how he did it all,
Pouring his soul, with kings and popes to see,
Reaching, that heaven might so replenish him,
Above and through his art - for it gives way;
That arm is wrongly put - and there again -
A fault to pardon in the drawing's lines,
Its body, so to speak: its soul is right,
He means right, - that, a child may understand.
Still, what an arm! and I could alter it:
But all the play, the insight and the stretch -
Out of me, out of me! And wherefore out?
Had you enjoined them on me, given me soul,
We might have risen to Rafael, I and you!
Nay, Love, you did give all I asked, I think -
More than I merit, yes, by many times.
But had you - oh, with the same perfect brow,
And perfect eyes, and more than perfect mouth,
And the low voice my soul hears, as a bird
The fowler's pipe, and follows to the snare -
Had you, with these the same, but brought a mind!
Some women do so. Had the mouth there urged,
"God and the glory! never care for gain.
The present by the future, what is that?
Live for fame, side by side with Agnolo!
Rafael is waiting: up to God, all three!"
I might have done it for you. So it seems:
Perhaps not. All is as God overrules.
Beside, incentives come from the soul's self;
The rest avail not. Why do I need you?
What wife had Rafael, or has Agnolo?
In this world, who can do a thing, will not;
And who would do it, cannot, I perceive:
Yet the will's somewhat - somewhat, too, the power -
And thus we half-men struggle. At the end,
God I conclude, compensates, punishes.
'Tis safer for me, if the award be strict,
That I am something underrated here,
Poor this long while, despised, to speak the truth.
I dared not, do you know, leave home all day,
For fear of chancing on the Paris lords.
The best is when they pass and look aside;
But they speak sometimes; I must bear it all.
Well may they speak! That Francis, that first time,
And that long festal year at Fontainebleau!
I surely then could sometimes leave the ground,
Put on the glory, Rafael's daily wear,
In that humane great monarch's golden look, -
One finger in his beard or twisted curl
Over his mouth's good mark that made the smile,
One arm about my shoulder, round my neck,
The jingle of his gold chain in my ear,
I painting proudly with his breath on me,
All his court round him, seeing with his eyes,
Such frank French eyes, and such a fire of souls
Profuse, my hand kept plying by those hearts, -
And, best of all, this, this, this face beyond,
This in the background, waiting on my work;
To crown the issue with a last reward!
A good time, was it not, my kingly days?
And had you not grown restless . . . but I know -
'Tis done and past; 'twas right, my instinct said;
Too live the life grew, golden and not gray,
And I'm the weak-eyed bat no sun should tempt
Out of the grange whose four walls make his world.
How could it end in any other way?
You called me, and I came home to your heart.
The triumph was, - to reach and stay there; since
I reached it ere the triumph, what is lost?
Let my hands frame your face in your hair's gold,
You beautiful Lucrezia that are mine!
"Rafael did this, Andrea painted that;
The Roman's is the better when you pray,
But still the other's Virgin was his wife -
Men will excuse me. I am glad to judge
Both pictures in your presence; clearer grows
My better fortune, I resolve to think.
For do you know, Lucrezia, as God lives,
Said one day Agnolo, his very self
To Rafael . . . I have known it all these years . . .
(When the young man was flaming out his thoughts
Upon a palace-wall for Rome to see,
Too lifted up in heart because of it)
Friend, there's a certain sorry little scrub
Goes up and down our Florence, none cares how,
Who, were he set to plan and execute
As you are, pricked on by your popes and kings,
Would bring the sweat into that brow of yours!"
To Rafael's! And indeed the arm is wrong.
I hardly dare . . . yet, only you to see,
Give the chalk here - quick, thus the line should go!
Ay, but the soul! he's Rafael! rub it out!
Still, all I care for, if he spoke the truth,
(What he? why, who but Michel Agnolo?
Do you forget already words like those?)
If really there was such a chance, so lost, -
Is, whether you're - not grateful - but more pleased.
Well, let me think so. And you smile indeed!
This hour has been an hour! Another smile?
If you would sit thus by me every night
I should work better, do you comprehend?
I mean that I should earn more, give you more.
See, it is settled dusk now; there's a star;
Morello's gone, the watch-lights show the wall,
The cue-owls speak the name we call them by.
Come from the window, love, - come in, at last,
Inside the melancholy little house
We built to be so gay with. God is just.
King Francis may forgive me: oft at nights
When I look up from painting, eyes tired out,
The walls become illumined, brick from brick
Distinct, instead of mortar, fierce bright gold,
That gold of his I did cement them with!
Let us but love each other. Must you go?
That Cousin here again? he waits outside?
Must see you - you, and not with me? Those loans?
More gaming debts to pay? you smiled for that?
Well, let smiles buy me! have you more to spend?
While hand and eye and something of a heart
Are left me, work's my ware, and what's it worth?
I'll pay my fancy. Only let me sit
The gray remainder of the evening out,
Idle, you call it, and muse perfectly
How I could paint, were I but back in France,
One picture, just one more, - the Virgin's face,
Not yours this time! I want you at my side
To hear them - that is Michel Agnolo -
Judge all I do and tell you of its worth.
Will you? To-morrow, satisfy your friend.
I take the subjects for his corridor,
Finish the portrait out of hand - there, there,
And throw him in another thing or two
If he demurs; the whole should prove enough
To pay for this same Cousin's freak. Beside,
What's better and what's all I care about,
Get you the thirteen scudi for the ruff!

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