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THERE'S A WOMAN LIKE A DEW-DROP.

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[graphic]

“THERE'S A WOMAN LIKE A DEW-DROP.”

THERE

'HERE 'S a woman like a dew-drop, she's so purer than the

purest; And her noble heart 's the noblest, yes, and her sure faith 's the

surest : And her eyes are dark and humid, like the depth on depth of lustre Hid i' the harebell, while her tresses, sunnier than the wild-grape

cluster, Gush in golden-tinted plenty down her neck's rose-misted marble : Then her voice's music ... call it the well's bubbling, the bird's And this woman says, “My days were sunless and my nights

warble !

were moonless, Parched the pleasant April herbage, and the lark's heart's out

break tuneless, If you loved me not!” And I who, — (ah, for words of flame!)

adore her! Who am mad to lay my spirit prostrate palpably before her,I may enter at her portal soon, as now her lattice takes me, And by noontide as by midnight make her mine, as hers she

makes me !

MY LAST DUCHESS.

*HAT 'S my last Duchess painted on the wall,

,

That piece a wonder, now: Frà Pandolf's hands
Worked busily a day, and there she stands.
Will’t please you sit and look at her? I said
“ Frà Pandolf” by design, for never read
Strangers like you that pictured countenance,
The depth and passion of its earnest glance,
But to myself they turned (since none puts by
The curtain I have drawn for you, but I)
And seemed as they would ask me, if they durst,
How such a glance came there; so, not the first
Are you to turn and ask thus. Sir, ’t was not
Her husband's presence only, called that spot
Of joy into the Duchess' cheek : perhaps
Frà Pandolf chanced to say “ Her mantle laps
Over my Lady's wrist too much,” or “Paint
Must never hope to reproduce the faint
Half-flush that dies along her throat”; such stuff
Was courtesy, she thought, and cause enough
For calling up that spot of joy. She had

A heart ... how shall I say? ... too soon made glad,
Too easily impressed; she liked whate'er
She looked on, and her looks went everywhere.
Sir, 't was all one! My favor at her breast,
The dropping of the daylight in the West,
The bough of cherries some officious fool
Broke in the orchard for her, the white inule
She rode with round the terrace, all and each
Would draw from her alike the approving speech,
Or blush, at least. She thanked men, -good; but thanked
Somehow ... I know not how .

... as if she ranked
My gift of a nine hundred years old name
With anybody's gift. Who'd stoop to blame
This sort of trifling? Even had you skill
In speech — (which I have not) — to make your will
Quite clear to such an one, and say “ Just this
Or that in you disgusts me; here you miss,
Or there exceed the mark” - and if she let
Herself be lessoned so, nor plainly set
Her wits to yours, forsooth, and made excuse,

- E'en then would be some stooping, and I chuse
Never to stoop. O, Sir, she smiled, no doubt,
Whene'er I passed her; but who passed without
Much the same smile? This grew; I gave commands;
Then all smiles stopped together. There she stands
As if alive. Will’t please you rise? We'll meet
The company below, then. I repeat,
The Count your Master's known munificence
Is ample warrant that no just pretence
Of mine for dowry will be disallowed;
Though his fair daughter's self, as I avowed
At starting, is my object. Nay, we'll go
Together down, Sir! Notice Neptune, though,
Taming a sea-horse, thought a rarity,
Which Claus of Innsbruck cast in bronze for me.

SOLILOQUY OF THE SPANISH CLOISTER.

R-R-R — there go, my heart's abhorrence!

If hate killed men, Brother Lawrence,

God's blood, would not mine kill you !
What? your myrtle-bush wants trimming?

0, that rose has prior claims, –
Needs its leaden vase filled brimming ?

Hell dry you up with its flames !

At the meal we sit together :

Salve tibi! I must hear
Wise talk of the kind of weather,

Sort of season, time of year :
Not a plenteous cork-crop : scarcely

Dare we hope oak-galls, I doubt :
What's the Latin name for parsley?

What's the Greek name for Swine's Snout?

Whew! We'll have our platter burnished,

Laid with care on our own shelf!
With a fire-new spoon we're furnished,

And a goblet for ourself,
Rinsed like something sacrificial

Ere 't is fit to touch our chaps, –
Marked with L. for our initial !

(He, he! There his lily snaps !)

Saint, forsooth! While brown Dolores

Squats outside the Convent bank,
With Sanchicha, telling stories,

Steeping tresses in the tank,
Blue-black, lustrous, thick like horse-hairs,

– Can't I see his dead eye glow

SOLILOQUY OF THE SPANISH CLOISTER.

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Bright, as 't were a Barbary corsair's ?

(That is, if he'd let it show!)

When he finishes refection,

Knife and fork he never lays Cross-wise, to my recollection,

As do I, in Jesu's praise. I, the Trinity illustrate,

Drinking watered orange-pulp, In three sips the Arian frustrate ;

While he drains his at one gulp!

0, those melons! If he's able

We ’re to have a feast; so nice!
One goes to the Abbot's table,

All of us get each a slice.
How go on your flowers ? None double ?

Not one fruit-sort can you spy?
Strange! — And I, too, at such trouble,

Keep 'em close-nipped on the sly!

There 's a great text in Galatians,

Once you trip on it, entails Twenty-nine distinct damnations,

One sure, if another fails. If I trip him just a-dying,

Sure of Heaven as sure can be, Spin him round and send him flying

Off to Hell, a Manichee !

Or, my scrofulous French novel,

On gray paper with blunt type ! Simply glance at it, you grovel

Hand and foot in Belial's gripe : If I double down its pages

At the woful sixteenth point, When he gathers his greengages,

Ope a sieve and slip it in 't!

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