Poem lyrics of Lord Walter's Wife by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. I
'But where do you go?' said the lady, while both sat under the yew,
And her eyes were alive in their depth, as the kraken beneath the sea-blue.
'Because I fear you,' he answered; - 'because you are far too fair,
And able to strangle my soul in a mesh of your gold-coloured hair.'
'Oh that,' she said, 'is no reason! Such knots are quickly undone,
And too much beauty, I reckon, is nothing but too much sun.'
'Yet farewell so,' he answered; - 'the sunstroke's fatal at times.
I value your husband, Lord Walter, whose gallop rings still from the limes.
'Oh that,' she said, 'is no reason. You smell a rose through a fence:
If two should smell it what matter? who grumbles, and where's the pretense?
'But I,' he replied, 'have promised another, when love was free,
To love her alone, alone, who alone from afar loves me.'
'Why, that,' she said, 'is no reason. Love's always free I am told.
Will you vow to be safe from the headache on Tuesday, and think it will hold?
'But you,' he replied, 'have a daughter, a young child, who was laid
In your lap to be pure; so I leave you: the angels would make me afraid."
'Oh that,' she said, 'is no reason. The angels keep out of the way;
And Dora, the child, observes nothing, although you should please me and stay.'
At which he rose up in his anger, - 'Why now, you no longer are fair!
Why, now, you no longer are fatal, but ugly and hateful, I swear.'
At which she laughed out in her scorn: 'These men! Oh these men overnice,
Who are shocked if a colour not virtuous is frankly put on by a vice.'
Her eyes blazed upon him - 'And you! You bring us your vices so near
That we smell them! You think in our presence a thought 'twould defame us to hear!
'What reason had you, and what right, - I appeal to your soul from my life, -
To find me so fair as a woman? Why, sir, I am pure, and a wife.
'Is the day-star too fair up above you? It burns you not. Dare you imply
I brushed you more close than the star does, when Walter had set me as high?
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