Then gathered, smell still. Mussulmans and Giaours

Throw kerchiefs at a smile, and have no ruth

For any weeping. Polypheme's white tooth

Slips on the nut if, after frequent showers,

The shell is over-smooth,--and not so much

Will turn the thing called love, aside to hate

Or else to oblivion. But thou art not such

A lover, my Beloved! thou canst wait

Through sorrow and sickness, to bring souls to touch,

And think it soon when others cry "Too late."

XLI

I thank all who have loved me in their hearts,

With thanks and love from mine. Deep thanks to all

Who paused a little near the prison-wall

To hear my music in its louder parts

Ere they went onward, each one to the mart's

Or temple's occupation, beyond call.

But thou, who, in my voice's sink and fall

When the sob took it, thy divinest Art's

Own instrument didst drop down at thy foot

To harken what I said between my tears, . . .

Instruct me how to thank thee! Oh, to shoot

My soul's full meaning into future years,

That they should lend it utterance, and salute

Love that endures, from life that disappears!

XLII

My future will not copy fair my past--

I wrote that once; and thinking at my side

My ministering life-angel justified

The word by his appealing look upcast

To the white throne of God, I turned at last,

And there, instead, saw thee, not unallied

To angels in thy soul! Then I, long tried

By natural ills, received the comfort fast,

While budding, at thy sight, my pilgrim's staff

Gave out green leaves with morning dews impearled.

I seek no copy now of life's first half:

Leave here the pages with long musing curled,

And write me new my future's epigraph,

New angel mine, unhoped for in the world!

XLIII

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

I love thee to the depth and breadth and height

My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight

For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.

I love thee to the level of everyday's

Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.

I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;

I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.

I love thee with the passion put to use

In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.

I love thee with a love I seemed to lose

With my lost saints,--I love thee with the breath,

Smiles, tears, of all my life!--and, if God choose,

I shall but love thee better after death.

XLIV

Beloved, thou hast brought me many flowers

Plucked in the garden, all the summer through,

And winter, and it seemed as if they grew

In this close room, nor missed the sun and showers.

So, in the like name of that love of ours,

Take back these thoughts which here unfolded too,

And which on warm and cold days I withdrew

From my heart's ground. Indeed, those beds and bowers

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