Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THAT DAY, by ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THAT DAY, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: I stand by the river where both of us stood
Last Line: Go, -- be clear of that day!
Subject(s): Infidelity; Forgiveness; Clemency


I STAND by the river where both of us stood,
And there is but one shadow to darken the flood;
And the path leading to it, where both used to pass,
Has the step but of one, to take dew from the grass, --
One forlorn since that day.


The flowers of the margin are many to see;
None stoops at my bidding to pluck them for me.
The bird in the alder sings loudly and long, --
My low sound of weeping disturbs not his song,
As thy vow did, that day.


I stand by the river, I think of the vow;
Oh, calm as the place is, vow-breaker, be thou!
I leave the flower growing, the bird unreproved;
Would I trouble thee rather than them, my beloved, --
And my lover that day?


Go, be sure of my love, by that treason forgiven;
Of my prayers, by the blessings they win thee from Heaven;
Of my grief -- (guess the length of the sword by the sheath's)
By the silence of life, more pathetic than death's!
Go, -- be clear of that day!

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