George Meredith

(12 February 1828 – 18 May 1909 / Portsmouth, England)

Modern Love VI: It Chanced His Lips Did Meet Poem by George Meredith


It chanced his lips did meet her forehead cool.
She had no blush, but slanted down her eye.
Shamed nature, then, confesses love can die:
And most she punishes the tender fool
Who will believe what honours her the most!
Dead! is it dead? She has a pulse, and flow
Of tears, the price of blood-drops, as I know,
For whom the midnight sobs around Love's ghost,
Since then I heard her, and so will sob on.
The love is here; it has but changed its aim.
O bitter barren woman! what's the name?
The name, the name, the new name thou hast won?
Behold me striking the world's coward stroke!
That will I not do, though the sting is dire.
Beneath the surface this, while by the fire
They sat, she laughing at a quiet joke.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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