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Posts Tagged ‘Elizabeth Barrett Browning’

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,
For 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 indoor 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!

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Out In The Fields With God

The little cares that fretted me
I lost them yesterday,
Among the fields, above the sea,
Among the winds at play;
Among the lowing of the herds,
The rustling of the trees;
Among the singing of the birds,
The humming of the bees.
The foolish fears of what may happen,
I cast them all away
Among the clover-scented grass,
Among the new-mown hay;
Among the rustling of the corn,
Where drowsy poppies nod,
Where ill thoughts die and good are born –
Out in the fields with God.

 

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……..The Meaning Of The Look

I think that look of Christ might seem to say,
“Thou Peter! Art thou then a common stone
Which I at last must break my heart upon,
For all God’s charge to his high angels may
Guard my foot better?  Did I yesterday
Wash thy feet, my beloved, that they should run
Quick to deny me ‘neath the morning sun?
And do thy kisses, like the rest, betray?
The cock crows coldly. – Go, and manifest
A late contrition, but no bootless fear!
For when thy final need is dreariest,
Thou shalt not be denied, as I am here;
My voice to God and angels shall attest,
‘Because I KNOW this man, let him be clear.’”

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…….A Year’s Spinning

He listened at the porch that day
To hear the wheels go on, and on;
And then it stopped, ran back away,
While through the door he brought the sun:
But now my spinning is all done.

He sat beside me, with an oath
That love ne’er ended, once begun;
I smiled – believing for us both,
What was the truth for only one:
And now my spinning is all done.

My mother cursed me that I heard
A young man’s wooing as I spun:
Thanks, cruel mother, for that word –
For I have, since, a harder known!
And now my spinning is all done.

I thought – O God! – my first-born’s cry
Both voices to mine ear would drown:
I listened in mine agony –
It was the silence made me groan!
And now my spinning is all done.

Bury me ‘twixt my mother’s grave,
(Who cursed me on her death-bed lone)
And my dead baby’s (God it save!)
Who, not to bless me, would not moan.
And now my spinning I all done.

A stone upon my heart and head,
But no name written on the stone!
Sweet neighbors, whisper low instead,
“This sinner was a loving one –
And now her spinning is all done.”

And let the door ajar remain,
In case he should pass by anon;
And leave the wheel out very plain, –
That HE, when passing in the sun,
May see the spinning is all done.

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How do I love thee?  Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, – I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! – and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

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