Robert Browning

(1812-1889 / London / England)

In Three Days


I.

So, I shall see her in three days
And just one night, but nights are short,
Then two long hours, and that is morn.
See how I come, unchanged, unworn!
Feel, where my life broke off from thine,
How fresh the splinters keep and fine,---
Only a touch and we combine!

II.

Too long, this time of year, the days!
But nights, at least the nights are short.
As night shows where ger one moon is,
A hand's-breadth of pure light and bliss,
So life's night gives my lady birth
And my eyes hold her! What is worth
The rest of heaven, the rest of earth?

III.

O loaded curls, release your store
Of warmth and scent, as once before
The tingling hair did, lights and darks
Outbreaking into fairy sparks,
When under curl and curl I pried
After the warmth and scent inside,
Thro' lights and darks how manifold---
The dark inspired, the light controlled
As early Art embrowns the gold.

IV.

What great fear, should one say, ``Three days
``That change the world might change as well
``Your fortune; and if joy delays,
``Be happy that no worse befell!''
What small fear, if another says,
``Three days and one short night beside
``May throw no shadow on your ways;
``But years must teem with change untried,
``With chance not easily defied,
``With an end somewhere undescried.''
No fear!---or if a fear be born
This minute, it dies out in scorn.
Fear? I shall see her in three days
And one night, now the nights are short,
Then just two hours, and that is morn.

Submitted: Sunday, May 13, 2001

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