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My tillage of the wilderness; for lo
I leave behind the woman, and I see
As 'twere the gates of Eden closing o'er
To hide her from my sight for evermore.'

Yes, this thing, Love, is just a sample of what Browning calls

Earth's true food for men,

Its sweet in sad, its sad in sweet.'

And a sample of the former is the keen feeling of the unsuccessful man, that he is unappreciated, not understood; that if she really knew him, she would and must love him. Not out of conceit; I don't mean that I mean that dignity of selfbelief which true unselfish love gives a man a right to have. (If I quote poetry again, you shall excuse this, when the theme is love.) So the gentler heart, that finds the less worthy, but more showy, rough heart win his treasure from him, will thus muse:

But in the world I learnt, what there
Thou too wilt surely one day prove,
That will, that energy, though rare,

Are yet far, far less rare than love.'

And he consoles himself with the vague hope that, somehow, things will right themselves in another state.

Yet we shall one day gain, life past,

Clear prospect o'er our being's whole;
Shall see ourselves, and learn at last

Our true affinities of soul.'

Browning's Last ride together' gives one of the most whimsical ways of taking a refusal: also a most philosophic string of consolations. The poem is a vast favourite with me. And most happy is that exquisite extravagance in the Angel in the house,' which makes the bridegroom the envier of the unselfish nobility of the rejected lover:

We left him looking from above;
Rich bankrupt ! for he could afford
To say most proudly that his love
Was virtue and its own reward.
But others loved as well as he,
(Thought I, half angered,) and if fate,
Unfair, had only fashioned me

As hapless, I had been as great.'

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giving a prescription for this malady which I find labelled 'Bitter Herbs.'

• Wild roses wreathe their glowing arms
The barren rock above;

In the deep grove's most hidden part
Cooeth the tender dove;
But not to every human heart

Cometh the meed of love.

'A nest forsaken, on a tree

Withered, and sere, and dry;
A rose-bush, in its pride of bloom,
Uptorn, and left to die;

A wreck upon a wide waste sea,
Nor hope nor succour nigh:-
'These all are blithe and happy things
That outcast thing beside,

A heart that yearns for love's dear grace,
And still must be denied ;

And fain would fill the desert place
With bitter growth of pride.
'And yet, and yet, there is a love

None ever sought in vain ;

A love that shines with tenfold power
Upon the heart again;

That to Eternity's last hour

Unchanging shall remain.

And thou, who mourn'st an earthly love,
Ventured without return;

Listen! The voice of LOVE Himself

Biddeth thee cease to mourn:

He takes from thee the twining growths
With which thy soul was bound,
And bids thee grow a stately plant

Within His garden ground!'

Yes, and besides a present sweet in the bitter, there is, believe me, a hope beyond, for every pure and godlike spark in the heart's often dead hearth. With grand notes to this effect I end this my playing with the keys:

There shall never be one lost good! What

was, shall live as before;

The evil is null, is nought, is silence implying sound:

What was good, shall be good, with, for evil, so much good more;

On the earth the broken arcs; in the heaven, a perfect round.

All we have willed, or hoped, or dreamed of good, shall exist:

Not its semblance, but itself; no beauty, nor good, nor power,

Whose voice has gone forth, but each survives for the melodist,

When Eternity affirms the conception of an hour.

The high that proved too high, the heroic for earth too hard,

The passion that left the ground to lose itself

in the sky,

Are music sent up to God by the lover and

the bard;

Enough that He heard it once: we shall hear it by-and-by.'




LOVE not the sweetest of love protestations
Emblazoned by artists on paper of snow;

That love that is rouged, and those forced suspirations,
You purchase for money from Cupid and Co.

Those pink chubby boys with their impudent faces,

Their hearts and their darts and their old stock in trade, Bedizened with tinsel, embowered in laces,

Shan't bear my love-song to my tender-eyed maid.

Shall a hireling muse ever sing of her splendour,
Or trumpery poet at twopence a line?
Shall e'er be a bookseller's shopman the vendor
Of pæan of praise to my sweet Valentine?

I strike my own harp when I sing to my treasure,
I'll sing my own song or for ever be still;

And watch her eyes sparkle with exquisite pleasure
At soft-spoken words which so easily thrill!

Yet I won't bring a harp, and I won't speak in numbers;
We'll sit as of yore in the snug-curtained room;

When old folks are taking post-prandial slumbers,
We'll dream by the fire 'twixt the glow and the gloom!
When sunny-brown tresses, in firelight, gleam golden,
And ripple down soft o'er a bosom of snow;
When a dear, dainty waist is more closely enfolden-
There's sweetness in silence we both of us know!

There's piercing expression in tightly-locked fingers;
A poem, too, in whispers half broken by sighs.
In soft dainty dimples a kiss-print still lingers,
Whilst love gladly lurks in those drooping grey eyes.

Away with all tears, not a vestige of sadness
Shall chequer such moments so sweetly divine!
I'll bask in a rapture of radiant gladness-
And whisper my love to my own Valentine.

Now, darling, pray tell me if this is not better

Than commonplace poems one can ne'er understand?

Than parcel, or picture, or overgrown letter,

Duly stamped and despatched through St. Martin's-le-Grand?

Then leave such devices to boarding-school misses,
Who love through the post at a distance of miles;

I like to make love 'midst a shower of kisses,
And press pouting lips till they're melted to smiles!

J. A. S.

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