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
 
Autumn Love
By Lord de Tabley (John Byrne Leicester Warren) (1835–1895)
 
THE AUTUMN brought my love to me.
  The birds sing not in spring alone;
For fancy all the year is free
  To find a sweetness of its own:
And sallow woods and crystal morn        5
Were sweeter than the budded thorn.
 
When redwings peopled brake and down
  I kissed her mouth: in morning air
The rosy clover dried to brown
  Beneath thro’ all its glowing square.        10
Around the bramble berries set
Their beaded globes intenser jet.
 
“True love,” I whispered, “when I fold
  To mine thy little lips so sweet,
The headland trembles into gold,        15
  The sun goes up on firmer feet,
And drenched in glory one by one
The terrace clouds will melt and run.
 
Our lips are close as doves in nest;
  And life in strength flows everywhere        20
In larger pulses through the breast
  That breathe with thine a mutual air.
My nature almost shrinks to be
In this great moment’s ecstasy.
 
“Lo, yonder myriad-tinted wood,        25
  With all its phases golden-brown,
Lies calm; as if it understood
  That in the flutter of thy gown
Abides a wonder more to me
Than lustrous leagues of forest sea.        30
 
“And far and deep we heard the sound
  And low of pasture-going kine.
Your trembling lips spake not: I found
  Their silence utterly divine.
Again the fluttering accents crept        35
Between them, failed, then how you wept!
 
“For when you came to speak the part
  Which gave yourself for time and years,
The angel in the maiden heart
  Could find no other speech but tears.        40
And their immortal language told
What Seraph’s words to speak were cold.
 
“We turned our homeward feet at last,
  And kissed to go, but kissed and stayed.
The dewy meadows where we past        45
  Seemed love-full to each grass’s blade.
And there our thirsty lips retold
That lovers’ story ages old.
 
“They say we sear with growing time,
  And scorn in age our young romance:        50
Yet shall that morning keep its prime
  Thro’ every earthly shock and chance:
And till my brain is dark with death,
No sweetness leaves that morning breath.”
 
 
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