Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. V. Browning to Rupert Brooke
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Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. V. Browning to Rupert Brooke
 
Extracts from Ionica: Deteriora
By William Johnson Cory (1823–1892)
 
ONE year I lived in high romance,
  A soul ennobled by the grace
Of one whose very frowns enhance
  The regal lustre of the face,
And in the magic of a smile        5
I dwelt as in Calypso’s isle.
 
One year, a narrow line of blue,
  With clouds both ways awhile held back:
And dull the vault that line goes through,
  And frequent now the crossing rack;        10
And who shall pierce the upper sky,
And count the spheres? Not I, not I!
 
Sweet year, it was not hope you brought,
  Nor after toil and storm repose,
But a fresh growth of tender thought,        15
  And all of love my spirit knows.
You let my lifetime pause, and bade
The noontide dial cast no shade.
 
If fate and nature screen from me
  The sovran front I bowed before,        20
And set the glorious creature free,
  Whom I would clasp, detain, adore;
If I forego that strange delight,
Must all be lost? Not quite, not quite.
 
Die, little love, without complaint,        25
  Whom Honour standeth by to shrive:
Assoilèd from all selfish taint,
  Die, Love, whom Friendship will survive.
Nor heat nor folly gave thee birth;
And briefness does but raise thy worth.        30
 
Let the grey hermit Friendship hoard
  Whatever sainted Love bequeathed,
And in some hidden scroll record
  The vows in pious moments breathed.
Vex not the lost with idle suit,        35
Oh lonely heart, be mute, be mute.
 
 
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