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(6 August 1809 – 6 October 1892 / Lincoln / England)

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Maud: A Monodrama (Part II, excerpt)

.


O that 'twere possible
.


After long grief and pain
.


To find the arms of my true love
.


Round me once again!2.


When I was wont to meet her
.


In the silent woody places
.


By the home that gave me birth,
.


We stood tranced in long embraces
.


Mixt with kisses sweeter sweeter
.


Than anything on earth.2.


A shadow flits before me,
.


Not thou, but like to thee:
.


Ah Christ, that it were possible
.


For one short hour to see
.


The souls we loved, that they might tell us
.


What and where they be.2.


It leads me forth at evening,
.


It lightly winds and steals
.


In a cold white robe before me,
.


When all my spirit reels
.


At the shouts, the leagues of lights,
.


And the roaring of the wheels.2.


Half the night I waste in sighs,
.


Half in dreams I sorrow after
.


The delight of early skies;
.


In a wakeful doze I sorrow
.


For the hand, the lips, the eyes,
.


For the meeting of the morrow,
.


The delight of happy laughter,
.


The delight of low replies.2.


'Tis a morning pure and sweet,
.


And a dewy splendour falls
.


On the little flower that clings
.


To the turrets and the walls;
.


'Tis a morning pure and sweet,
.


And the light and shadow fleet;
.


She is walking in the meadow,
.


And the woodland echo rings;
.


In a moment we shall meet;
.


She is singing in the meadow,
.


And the rivulet at her feet
.


Ripples on in light and shadow
.


To the ballad that she sings.2.


So I hear her sing as of old,
.


My bird with the shining head,
.


My own dove with the tender eye?
.


But there rings on a sudden a passionate cry,
.


There is some one dying or dead,
.


And a sullen thunder is roll'd;
.


For a tumult shakes the city,
.


And I wake, my dream is fled;
.


In the shuddering dawn, behold,
.


Without knowledge, without pity,
.


By the curtains of my bed
.


That abiding phantom cold.2.


Get thee hence, nor come again,
.


Mix not memory with doubt,
.


Pass, thou deathlike type of pain,
.


Pass and cease to move about!
.


'Tis the blot upon the brain
.


That will show itself without.2.


Then I rise, the eave-drops fall,
.


And the yellow vapours choke
.


The great city sounding wide;
.


The day comes, a dull red ball
.


Wrapt in drifts of lurid smoke
.


On the misty river-tide.2.


Thro' the hubbub of the market
.


I steal, a wasted frame;
.


It crosses here, it crosses there,
.


Thro' all that crowd confused and loud,
.


The shadow still the same;
.


And on my heavy eyelids
.


My anguish hangs like shame.2.


Alas for her that met me,
.


That heard me softly call,
.


Came glimmering thro' the laurels
.


At the quiet evenfall,
.


In the garden by the turrets
.


Of the old manorial hall.2.


Would the happy spirit descend
.


From the realms of light and song,
.


In the chamber or the street,
.


As she looks among the blest,
.


Should I fear to greet my friend
.


Or to say "Forgive the wrong,"
.


Or to ask her, "Take me, sweet,
.


To the regions of thy rest"?2.


But the broad light glares and beats,
.


And the shadow flits and fleets
.


And will not let me be;
.


And I loathe the squares and streets,
.


And the faces that one meets,
.


Hearts with no love for me:
.


Always I long to creep
.


Into some still cavern deep,
.


There to weep, and weep, and weep
.


My whole soul out to thee....

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004


Read poems about / on: ballad, city, sorrow, happy, light, pain, laughter, grief, birth, flower, memory, river, friend, song, dream, fear, red, home, kiss, rose

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