A charm invests a face
The lady dare not lift her veil
For fear it be dispelled.
But peers beyond her mesh,
And wishes, and denies,
'Lest interview annul a want
That image satisfies.
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.
Thou art a fool," said my head to my heart,
"Indeed, the greatest of fools thou art,
To be led astray by trick of a tress,
By a smiling face or a ribbon smart;"
And my heart was in sore distress.
Then Phyllis came by, and her face was fair,
The light gleamed...
If life were but a dream, my Love,
And death the waking time;
If day had not a beam, my Love,
And night had not a rhyme, --
A barren, barren world were this
Without one saving gleam;
I'd only ask that with a kiss
You'd wake me from the dream.
A crust of bread and a corner to sleep in,
A minute to smile and an hour to weep in,
A pint of joy to a peck of trouble,
And never a laugh but the moans come double;
And that is life!
A crust and a corner that love makes precious,
With a smile to warm and the...
A Maiden wept and, as a comforter,
Came one who cried, "I love thee,"
and he seized
Her in his arms and kissed her with hot breath,
That dried the tears upon her flaming cheeks.
While evermore his boldly blazing eye
Burned into hers; but she uncomforted
Dearest, let these roses
In their purity,
Be a present symbol
Of my love for thee.
Underneath the blossom
Thorns are sure to grow;
Take heed lest you touch them,
They would pain you so!
Ah! my faults like thorns are,
But cannot they be
If you were coming in the fall,
I'd brush the summer by
With half a smile and half a spurn,
As housewives do a fly.
If I could see you in a year,
I'd wind the months in balls,
And put them each in separate drawers,
Until their time befalls.
For each ecstatic instant
We must an anguish pay
In keen and quivering ratio
To the ecstasy.
For each beloved hour
Sharp pittances of years,
Bitter contested farthings
And coffers heaped with tears.
I lost a World - the other day!
Has Anybody found?
You'll know it by the Row of Stars
Around its forehead bound.
A Rich man—might not notice it—
Yet—to my frugal Eye,
Of more Esteem than Ducats—
Oh find it—Sir—for me!