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Sent from a dewy breast a cry for light :

She moved, and at her feet the volume fell.

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Blame not thyself too much,' I said,

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Too much the sons of men and barbarous laws ;

These were the rough ways of the world till now. Henceforth thou hast a helper, me, that know The woman's cause is man's : they rise or sink Together, dwarf'd or godlike, bond or free:

For she that out of Lethe scales with man

The shining steps of Nature, shares with man
His nights, his days, moves with him to one goal,
Stays all the fair young planet in her hands-
If she be small, slight-natured, miserable,
How shall men grow? but work no more alone !
Our place is much : as far as in us lies
We two will serve them both in aiding her
Will clear away the parasitic forms
That seem to keep her up but drag her down-
Will leave her space to burgeon out of all

Within her-let her make herself her own

To give or keep, to live and learn and be

All that not harms distinctive womanhood.

For woman is not undevelopt man

But diverse : could we make her as the man,

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Sweet love were slain : his dearest bond is this

Not like to like, but like in difference.

Yet in the long years liker must they grow ;

The man be more of woman, she of man;

He gain in sweetness and in moral height,
Nor lose the wrestling thews that throw the world ;
She mental breadth, nor fail in childward care,

Nor lose the childlike in the larger mind;

Till at the last she set herself to man,

Like perfect music unto noble words ;
And so these twain, upon the skirts of Time,

Sit side by side, full-summ'd in all their powers,
Dispensing harvest, sowing the To-be,
Self-reverent each and reverencing each,
Distinct in individualities,

But like each other ev'n as those who love.

Then comes the statelier Eden back to men :

Then reign the world's great bridals, chaste and calm :
Then springs the crowning race of humankind.
May these things be!'

Sighing she spoke · I fear

They will not.'

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• Dear, but let us type them now
In our own lives, and this proud watchword rest
Of equal ; seeing either sex alone
Is half itself, and in true marriage lies
Nor equal, nor unequal : each fulfils
Defect in each, and always thought in thought,

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Purpose in purpose, will in will, they grow,
The single pure and perfect animal,

The two-cell'd heart beating, with one full stroke,


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And again sighing she spoke : “A dream That once was mine! what woman taught you this ?


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· Alone' I said · from earlier than I know,

Immersed in rich foreshadowings of the world

I loved the woman : he, that doth not, lives

A drowning life, besotted in sweet self,

Or pines in sad experience worse than death,
Or keeps his wing'd affections clipt with crime:

Yet was there one thro' whom I loved her, one

Not learned, save in gracious household ways,
Not perfect, nay, but full of tender wants,
No Angel, but a dearer being, all dipt
In Angel instincts, breathing Paradise,
Interpreter between the Gods and men,


Who look'd all native to her place, and yet

On tiptoe seem'd to touch upon a sphere
Too gross to tread, and all male minds perforce
Sway'd to her from their orbits as they moved
And girdled her with music. Happy he

With such a mother! faith in womankind

Beats with his blood, and trust in all things high

Comes easy to him, and tho' he trip and fall

He shall not blind his soul with clay.'


• But I,'

Said Ida, tremulously, so all unlike

It seems you love to cheat yourself with words :
This mother is


model. Never, Prince ;

You cannot love me.'

• Nay but thee' I said


* From yearlong poring on thy pictured eyes,

Ere seen I loved, and loved thee seen, and saw

Thee woman thro' the crust of iron moods

That mask'd thee from men’s reverence up, and forced Sweet love on pranks of saucy boyhood : now

Giv'n back to life, to life indeed, thro’ thee
Indeed I love: the new day comes, the light
Dearer for night, as dearer thou for faults
Lived over : lift thine eyes ; doubt me no more ;
Look up and let thy nature strike on mine
Like yonder morning on the blind half-world ;
Approach and fear not; breathe upon my brows ;
In that fine air I tremble, all the past

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