Saturday, July 07, 2007

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]

3 comments:

Jumbie said...

Most excellent. I certainly enjoyed reading it again.

E Browning is certainly one of my favourite poets. You may want to look at poetry by by Susan Coolidge as well.

Jdid said...

thats kind of cool

Fiyah said...

Neat. I have to find a way to use the word "betwixt" in my next post.