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A WOMAN'S QUESTION.
}RE I trust my fate to thee. Or place my hand in thine, Before I let thy future give Color and form to mine, Before I peril all for thee, question thy soul to-night for me.
I hreak all slighter bonds, nor feel
A shadow of regret: Is there one link within the Past That holds thy spirit yet? Or is thy faith as clear and free as that which I can pledge to thee?
Does there within my dimmest dreams .
A possible future shine,
Untouched, unshared by mine?
Look deeper still. If thou canst feel,
Within thy inmost soul, That thou has kept a portion back, While I have staked the whole, Let no false pity spare the blow, but in true mercy tell me so.
Is there within thy heart a need
That mine cannot fulfill? One chord that any other hand Could better wake or still? Speak now — lest at some future day my whole life wither and decay.
Lives there within thy nature hid
The demon-spirit change, Shedding a passing glory still On all things new and strange? It may not be thy fault alone — but shield my heart against thy own.
Couldst thou withdraw thy hand one day
And answer to my claim,
Nay, answer not—I dare not hear,
Yet I would spare thee all remorse,
Adelaide Anne Procter.
SAT with Doris, the shepherd maiden:
Her crook was laden with wreathed flowers;
And she, my Doris, whose lap encloses
The while I sued her, kept hushed and hearkened
She touched my shoulder with fearful finger:
My flock's in danger, my sheep will wander:
I answered bolder, "Nay, let me hear you,
No wolf nor stranger will touch one yearling;
She whispered, sighing: "There will be sorrow
My fold unguarded, my flock unfolded,
Said I, replying: "If they do miss you,
And well rewarded by friend and neighbor
"They might remember." she answered meekly,
But if they love me 'tis none so fervent;
Then each hot ember glowed quick within me,
"Ah! do but prove me, and none shall bind you Nor fray nor find you, until I die."
She blushed and started, and stood awaiting,
As if debating in dreams divine;
She doubted vainly; she must be mine.
So we, twin-hearted, from all the valley
Aud homeward drove them, we two together,
That simple duty fresh grace did lend her—
My Doris tender, my Doris true:
And often press her, to take her due.
And now in beauty she fills my dwelling
With love excelling and undefiled; And love doth guard her, both fast and fervent,
No more a servant, nor yet a child.
Arthur J. Munby.
SAD ARE THEY WHO KNOW NOT LOVE.
SAD are they who know not love, But, far from passion's tears and
Drift down a moonless sea, and pass The silver coasts of fain,' isles.
And sadder they whose longing lips Kiss empty air, and never touch
The dear warm mouth of thoae they love
But clear as amber, sweet as musk,
They walk in Allah's smile by day.
Tiiomas Bailey Aldricii.
O SWALLOW, FLYING SOUTH.
SWALLOW, Swallow, flying, flying South, Fly to her, and fall upon her gilded eaves, ~7«r And tell her, tell her what I tell to thee.
O tell her, Swallow, thou that knowest each, That bright and fierce and fickle is the South, And dark and true and tender is the North.
O Swallow, Swallow, if I could follow, and light Upon her lattice, I would pipe and trill, And cheep and twitter twenty million loves.
O were I thou, that she might take me in, And lay me on her bosom, and her heart Would rock the snowy cradle till I died.
Why lingereth she to clothe her heart with love,
O tell her. Swallow, that thy brood is flown;
O tell her, brief is life, but love is long,
O Swallow, flying from the golden woods, Fly to her, and pipe and woo her, and make her mine, And tell her, tell her, that I follow thee.
"Good day to you!" at last I said;
She turned her head to see me.
Her eyes looked soft and dreamy.
And all the while she milked and milked
The grave cow heavy-laden: I've seen grand ladies, plumed and silked,
But not a sweeter maiden.
But not a sweeter, fresher maid
Than this in homely cotton, Whose pleasant face and silky braid
I have not yet forgotten.
Seven springs have passed since then, as I
Count with a sober sorrow; Seven springs have come and passed me by,
And spring sets in to-morrow.
I've half a mmd to shake myself
To set my work upon the shelf,
To run down by the early train,
And feel the bluff north blow again,
Set up on waste patch of the lane
And spy the scarce-blown violet banks,
And watch the lambs leap at their pranks,
Alas! one point in all my plan
Seven years have passed for maid and man,
Perhaps my rose is over-blown,
Not rosy, or too rosy;
Some husband keeps her cosy,
Good-bye, my wayside posy!
Christina Georgina Rossetti.
'HE western wind is blowing fair
Across the dark ./Egean sea, ?j And at the secret marble stair
My Tyrlan galley waits for thee. Come down! the purple sail is spread,
The watchman sleeps within the town; O leave thy lily-flowered bed,
O Lady mine, come down, come down!
She will not come. I know her well,
Of lover's vows she hath no care, And little good a man can tell
Of one so cruel and so fair. True love is but a woman's toy,
They never know the lover's pain, And I who loved as loves a boy
Must love in vain, must love in vain.
O noble pilot, tell me true,
Or is it but the tangled dew
Good sailor, come and tell me now
Is that my lady's lily hand? Or is it but the gleaming prow,
Or is it but the silver sand?
No! no! 'tis not the tangled dew,
Tis not the silver-fretted sand, It is my own dear lady true
With golden hair and lily hand! O noble pilot, steer for Troy!
Good sailor, ply the laboring oar! This is the Queen of life and joy
Whom we must bear from Grecian shorel
The waning sky grows faint and blue
It wants an hour still of day: Aboard! aboard! my gallant crew
O Lady mine, away! away! O noble pilot, steer for Troy!
Good sailor, ply the laboring oar I O loved as only loves a boy!
O loved forever, evermore!