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I turn'd and humm'd a bitter song
That mock'd the wholesome human heart,
And then we met in wrath and wrong,
We met, but only meant to part.
Full cold my greeting was and dry;
She faintly smiled, she hardly moved;
I saw with half-unconscious eye
She wore the colours I approved.
She took the little ivory chest,
With half a sigh she turn'd the key,
Then raised her head with lips comprest,
And gave my letters back to me.
gave the trinkets and the rings,
My gifts, when gifts of mine could please;
As looks a father on the things
Of his dead son, I look'd on these.
She told me all her friends had said;
The woman cannot be believed.
'Thro' slander, meanest spawn of Hell (And women's slander is the worst), And you, whom once I loved so well, Thro' you, my life will be accurst.'
I spoke with heart, and heat and force,
I shook her breast with vague alarms— Like torrents from a mountain source
We rush'd into each other's arms.
We parted sweetly gleam'd the stars,
As homeward by the church I drew.
So fresh they rose in shadow'd swells; 'Dark porch,' I said, 'and silent aisle,
There comes a sound of marriage bells.