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Like the scent that steals from the crumbling sheet
Where a mummy is half unroll’d.
And I turn’d and look'd : she was sitting there,
In a dim box over the stage, and drest
And that jasmine in her breast.
I was here: and she was there :
And the glittering horse-shoe curved between, From my bride betroth’d, with her raven hair,
And her sumptuous, scornful mien,
To my early love, with her
downcast, And over her primrose face the shade. (In short, from the future back to the past
There was but a step to be made.)
To my early love from my future bride
One moment I look'd. Then I stole to the door. I traversed the passage, and down at her side
I was sitting, a moment more.
My thinking of her, or the music's strain,
Or something which never will be exprest, Had brought her back from the grave again,
With the jasmine in her breast.
She is not dead, and she is not wed,
But she loves me now, and she loved me then !
And the very first word that her sweet lips said,
My heart grew youthful again.
The Marchioness there, of Carabas,
She is wealthy, and young, and handsome still, And but for her,—well, we'll let that pass—
She may marry whomever she will.
But I will marry my own first love,
With her primrose face, for old things are best, And the flower in her bosom, I prize it above
The brooch in my lady's breast.
The world is fill’d with folly and sin,
And love must cling where it can, I say, For beauty is easy enough to win,
But one isn't loved every day.
And I think, in the lives of most women and men, There's a moment when all would go smooth and
even, If only the dead could find out when
To come back and be forgiven.
But oh, the smell of that jasmine flower !
And oh, that music ! and oh, the way That voice rang out from the donjon tower: Non ti scordar di me,
Non ti scordar di me !
ROBERT BULWER LYTTON.
BEFORE 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 break all slighter bonds, nor feel
A shadow of regret :
That holds thy spirit yet?
can pledge to thee?
Does there within thy dimmest dreams
A possible future shine,
Untouched, unshared by mine?
Look deeper still. If thou canst feel,
Within thy inmost soul,
While I have staked the whole,
tell me so.
Is there within thy heart a need
That mine cannot fulfil ?
Could better wake or still?
life wither and decay.
Lives there within thy nature hid
The demon-spirit Change,
On all things new and strange?-
against thy own.
Couldst thou withdraw thy hand one day,
And answer to my claim,
Not thou-had been to blame?
surely warn and save me now.
Nay, answer not,-1 dare not hear,
The words would come too late;