Dramatic Romances and Lyrics

The Lost Mistress

Robert Browning

ALL’S over, then: does truth sound bitter
    As one at first believes?
Hark, ’tis the sparrows’ good-night twitter
    About your cottage eaves!

And the leaf-buds on the vine are woolly,
    I noticed that, to-day;
One day more bursts them open fully
    —You know the red turns grey.

To-morrow we meet the same then, dearest?
    May I take your hand in mine?
Mere friends are we,—well, friends the merest
    Keep much that I resign:

For each glance of the eye so bright and black,
    Though I keep with heart’s endeavour,—
Your voice, when you wish the snowdrops back,
    Though it stay in my soul for ever!—

—Yet I will but say what mere friends say,
    Or only a thought stronger;
I will hold your hand but as long as all may,
    Or so very little longer!

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