When we two parted In silence and tears,Half broken-hearted To sever for years,Pale grew thy cheek and cold, Colder thy kiss;Truly that hour foretold Sorrow to this.The dew of the morning Sunk chill on my brow-- It felt like the warning Of what I feel now.Thy vows are all broken, And light is thy fame;I hear thy name spoken, And share in its shame.They name thee before me, A knell to mine ear;A shudder comes o’er me-- Why wert thou so dear?They know not I knew thee, Who knew thee too well--Long, long shall I rue thee, Too deeply to tell.In secret we met-- In silence I grieve,That thy heart could forget, Thy spirit deceive.If I should meet thee After long years,How should I greet thee?-- With silence and tears.
The fountains mingle with the river And the rivers with the ocean, The winds of heaven mix for ever With a sweet emotion; Nothing in the world is single, All things by a law divine In one another’s being mingle— Why not I with thine? See the mountains kiss high heaven, And the waves clasp one another; No sister-flower would be forgiven If it disdain’d its brother; And the sunlight clasps the earth, And the moonbeams kiss the sea— What is all this sweet work worth If thou kiss not me?
The rain set early in to-night, The sullen wind was soon awake, It tore the elm-tops down for spite, And did its worst to vex the lake: I listened with heart fit to break. When glided in Porphyria; straight She shut the cold out and the storm, And kneeled and made the cheerless grate Blaze up, and all the cottage warm; Which done, she rose, and from her form Withdrew the dripping cloak and shawl, And laid her soiled gloves by, untied Her hat and let the damp hair fall, And, last, she sat down by my side And called me. When no voice replied, She put my arm about her waist, And made her smooth white shoulder bare, And all her yellow hair displaced, And, stooping, made my cheek lie there, And spread, o'er all, her yellow hair, Murmuring how she loved me — she Too weak, for all her heart's endeavour, To set its struggling passion free From pride, and vainer ties dissever, And give herself to me for ever. But passion sometimes would prevail, Nor could to-night's gay feast restrain A sudden thought of one so pale For love of her, and all in vain: So, she was come through wind and rain. Be sure I looked up at her eyes Happy and proud; at last I knew Porphyria worshipped me; surprise Made my heart swell, and still it grew While I debated what to do. That moment she was mine, mine, fair, Perfectly pure and good: I found A thing to do, and all her hair In one long yellow string I wound Three times her little throat around, And strangled her. No pain felt she; I am quite sure she felt no pain. As a shut bud that holds a bee, I warily oped her lids: again Laughed the blue eyes without a stain. And I untightened next the tress About her neck; her cheek once more Blushed bright beneath my burning kiss: I propped her head up as before, Only, this time my shoulder bore Her head, which droops upon it still: The smiling rosy little head, So glad it has its utmost will, That all it scorned at once is fled, And I, its love, am gained instead! Porphyria's love: she guessed not how Her darling one wish would be heard. And thus we sit together now, And all night long we have not stirred, And yet God has not said a word!
I think of thee!—my thoughts do twine and budAbout thee, as wild vines, about a tree,Put out broad leaves, and soon there 's nought to seeExcept the straggling green which hides the wood.Yet, O my palm-tree, be it understoodI will not have my thoughts instead of theeWho art dearer, better! Rather, instantlyRenew thy presence; as a strong tree should,Rustle thy boughs and set thy trunk all bare,And let these bands of greenery which insphere theeDrop heavily down,—burst, shattered, everywhere!Because, in this deep joy to see and hear theeAnd breathe within thy shadow a new air,I do not think of thee—I am too near thee.
We stood by a pond that winter day, And the sun was white, as though chidden of God, And a few leaves lay on the starving sod; – They had fallen from an ash, and were gray. Your eyes on me were as eyes that rove Over tedious riddles of years ago; And some words played between us to and fro On which lost the more by our love. The smile on your mouth was the deadest thing Alive enough to have strength to die; And a grin of bitterness swept thereby Like an ominous bird a-wing…. Since then, keen lessons that love deceives, And wrings with wrong, have shaped to me Your face, and the God curst sun, and a tree, And a pond edged with grayish leaves.
Charlotte Mew, 'The Farmer’s Bride' Cecil Day Lewis, 'Walking Away' Charles Causley, 'Eden Rock' Seamus Heaney, 'Follower' Simon Armitage, 'Mother, any distance' Carol Ann Duffy, 'Before You Were Mine' Owen Sheers, 'Winter Swans' Daljit Nagra, 'Singh Song!' Andrew Waterhouse, 'Climbing My Grandfather'