Men and Women

Another Way of Love

Robert Browning

        JUNE was not over
            Though past the fall,
        And the best of her roses
            Had yet to blow,
            When a man I know
        (But shall not discover,
            Since ears are dull,
        And time discloses)
Turned him and said with a man’s true air,
Half sighing a smile in a yawn, as ’twere,—
“If I tire of your June, will she greatly care?”

        Well, dear, in-doors with you!
            True, serene deadness
        Tries a man’s temper.
            What’s in the blossom
        June wears on her bosom?
        Can it clear scores with you?
            Sweetness and redness.
        Eadem semper!
Go, let me care for it greatly or slightly!
If June mends her bowers now, your hand left unsightly
By plucking the roses,—my June will do rightly.

        And after, for pastime,
            If June be refulgent
        With flowers in completeness,
            All petals, no prickles,
            Delicious as trickles
        Of wine poured at mass-time,—
            And choose One indulgent
        To redness and sweetness:
Or if, with experience of man and of spider,
June use my June-lightning, the strong insect-ridder,
And stop the fresh spinning,—why, June will consider.

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