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Victories of Love   By: (1823-1896)

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The Victories Of Love Amelia The Day After To Morrow The Azalea Departure The Toys If I Were Dead A Farewell Sponsa Dei The Rosy Bosom'd Hours Eros


After the very cordial reception given to the poems of "The Angel in the House," which their author generously made accessible to the readers of these little books, it is evident that another volume from the same clear singer of the purity of household love requires no Introduction.

I have only, in the name of the readers, to thank Mr. Coventry Patmore for his liberality, and wish him say, rather, assure him of the best return he seeks in a wide influence for good.

H. M.




Mother, I smile at your alarms! I own, indeed, my Cousin's charms, But, like all nursery maladies, Love is not badly taken twice. Have you forgotten Charlotte Hayes, My playmate in the pleasant days At Knatchley, and her sister, Anne, The twins, so made on the same plan, That one wore blue, the other white, To mark them to their father's sight; And how, at Knatchley harvesting, You bade me kiss her in the ring, Like Anne and all the others? You, That never of my sickness knew, Will laugh, yet had I the disease, And gravely, if the signs are these: As, ere the Spring has any power, The almond branch all turns to flower, Though not a leaf is out, so she The bloom of life provoked in me And, hard till then and selfish, I Was thenceforth nought but sanctity And service: life was mere delight In being wholly good and right, As she was; just, without a slur; Honouring myself no less than her; Obeying, in the loneliest place, Ev'n to the slightest gesture, grace, Assured that one so fair, so true, He only served that was so too. For me, hence weak towards the weak, No more the unnested blackbird's shriek Startled the light leaved wood; on high Wander'd the gadding butterfly, Unscared by my flung cap; the bee, Rifling the hollyhock in glee, Was no more trapp'd with his own flower, And for his honey slain. Her power, From great things even to the grass Through which the unfenced footways pass, Was law, and that which keeps the law, Cherubic gaiety and awe; Day was her doing, and the lark Had reason for his song; the dark In anagram innumerous spelt Her name with stars that throbb'd and felt; 'Twas the sad summit of delight To wake and weep for her at night; She turn'd to triumph or to shame The strife of every childish game; The heart would come into my throat At rosebuds; howsoe'er remote, In opposition or consent, Each thing, or person, or event, Or seeming neutral howsoe'er, All, in the live, electric air, Awoke, took aspect, and confess'd In her a centre of unrest, Yea, stocks and stones within me bred Anxieties of joy and dread. O, bright apocalyptic sky O'erarching childhood! Far and nigh Mystery and obscuration none, Yet nowhere any moon or sun! What reason for these sighs? What hope, Daunting with its audacious scope The disconcerted heart, affects These ceremonies and respects? Why stratagems in everything? Why, why not kiss her in the ring? 'Tis nothing strange that warriors bold, Whose fierce, forecasting eyes behold The city they desire to sack, Humbly begin their proud attack By delving ditches two miles off, Aware how the fair place would scoff At hasty wooing; but, O child, Why thus approach thy playmate mild? One morning, when it flush'd my thought That, what in me such wonder wrought Was call'd, in men and women, love, And, sick with vanity thereof, I, saying loud, 'I love her,' told My secret to myself, behold A crisis in my mystery! For, suddenly, I seem'd to be Whirl'd round, and bound with showers of threads, As when the furious spider sheds Captivity upon the fly To still his buzzing till he die; Only, with me, the bonds that flew, Enfolding, thrill'd me through and through With bliss beyond aught heaven can have, And pride to dream myself her slave... Continue reading book >>

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