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Sent from a dewy breast a cry for light :
She moved, and at her feet the volume fell.
Blame not thyself too much,' I said,
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
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,
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 childlike in the larger mind;
Till at the last she set herself to man,
Like perfect music unto noble words ;
Sit side by side, full-summ'd in all their powers,
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 :
Sighing she spoke · I fear
They will not.'
• Dear, but let us type them now
Purpose in purpose, will in will, they grow,
The two-cell'd heart beating, with one full stroke,
And again sighing she spoke : “A dream That once was mine! what woman taught you this ?
· 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,
Yet was there one thro' whom I loved her, one
Not learned, save in gracious household ways,
Who look'd all native to her place, and yet
On tiptoe seem'd to touch upon a sphere
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 :
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