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And slowly was my mother brought

To yield consent to my desire :
She wish'd me happy, but she thought

I might have look'd a little higher ;
And I was young-too young to wed :

“ Yet must I love her for your sake ; Go fetch your Alice here,” she said :

Her eyelid quiver'd as she spake.

And down I went to fetch my bride :

But, Alice, you were ill at ease ; This dress and that by turns you tried,

Too fearful that you should not please. I loved you better for your fears,

I knew you could not look but well ; And dews, that would have fall’n in tears,

I kiss'd away before they fell.

I watch'd the little flutterings,

The doubt my mother would not see ; She spoke at large of many things,

And at the last she spoke of me ; And turning look'd upon your face,

As near this door you sat apart, And rose, and, with a silent grace

Approaching, press’d you heart to heart. Ah, well—but sing the foolish song

I gave you, Alice, on the day When, arm in arm, we went along,

A pensive pair, and you were gay With bridal flowers—that I may seem,

As in the nights of old, to lie Beside the mill-wheel in the stream,

While those full chestnuts whisper by.

It is the miller's daughter,

And she is grown so dear, so dear,
That I would be the jewel

That trembles at her ear :
For hid in ringlets day and night,
I'd touch her neck so warm and white.

And I would be the girdle

About her dainty dainty waist,
And her heart would beat against me,

In sorrow and in rest :
And I should know if it beat right,
I'd clasp it round so close and tight.

And I would be the necklace,

And all day long to fall and rise
Upon her balmy bosom,

With her laughter or her sighs,
And I would lie so light, so light,
I scarce should be unclasp'd at night.

A trifle, sweet! which true love spells

True love interprets-right alone.
His light upon the letter dwells,

For all the spirit is his own.
So, if I waste words now, in truth

You must blame Love. His early rage Had force to make me rhyme in youth,

And makes me talk too much in age.

And now those vivid hours are gone,

Like mine own life to me thou art, Where Past and Present, wound in one,

Do make a garland for the heart : So sing that other song I made,

Half-anger'd with my happy lot, The day, when in the chestnut shade

I found the blue Forget-me-not.

Love that hath us in the net,
Can he pass, and we forget ?
Many suns arise and set.
Many a chance the years beget.
Love the gift is Love the debt.

Even so.
Love is hurt with jar and fret.
Love is made a vague regret.

Eyes with idle tears are wet.
Idle habit links us yet.
What is love ? for we forget :

Ah, no! no !

Look thro' mine eyes with thine. True wife,

Round my true heart thine arms entwine ; My other dearer life in life,

Look thro' my very soul with thine ! Untouch'd with any shade of years,

May those kind eyes for ever dwell ! They have not shed a many tears,

Dear eyes, since first I knew them well.

Yet tears they shed: they had their part

Of sorrow : for when time was ripe, The still affection of the heart

Became an outward breathing type, That into stillness past again,

And left a want unknown before ; Although the loss that brought us pain,

That loss but made us love the more,

With farther lookings on. The kiss,

The woven arms, seem but to be Weak symbols of the settled bliss,

The comfort, I hare found in thee :

. But that God bless thee, dear—who wrought

Two spirits to one equal mind-
With blessings beyond hope or thought,

With blessings which no words can find.

Arise, and let us wander forth,

To yon old mill across the wolds ; For look, the sunset, south and north,

Winds all the vale in rosy folds, And fires your narrow casement glass,

Touching the sullen pool below : On the chalk-hill the bearded grass

Is dry and dewless. Let us go.

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