Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE WANDERER: 1. IN ITALY: SINCE, by EDWARD ROBERT BULWER-LYTTON

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE WANDERER: 1. IN ITALY: SINCE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Words like to these were said, or dreamed
Last Line: Must beat or break for. That is all.
Alternate Author Name(s): Meredith, Owen; Lytton, 1st Earl Of; Lytton, Robert
Subject(s): Italy; Love; Travel; Italians; Journeys; Trips

WORDS like to these were said, or dreamed
(How long since!) on a night divine,
By lips from which such rapture streamed
I cannot deem those lips were mine.

The day comes up above the roofs,
All sallow from a night of rain;
The sound of feet, and wheels, and hoofs
In the blurred street begins again:

The same old toil -- no end -- no aim!
The same vile babble in my ears;
The same unmeaning smiles: the same
Most miserable dearth of tears.

The same dull sound: the same dull lack
Of lustre in the level gray:
It seems like Yesterday come back
With his old things, and not To-day.

But now and then her name will fall
From careless lips with little praise,
On this dry shell, and shatter all
The smooth indifference of my days.

They chatter of her -- deem her light --
The apes and liars! they who know
As well to sound the unfathomed Night
As her impenetrable woe!

And here, where Slander's scorn is spilt,
And gabbling Folly clucks above
Her addled eggs, it feels like guilt,
To know that far away, my love

Her heart on every heartless hour
Is bruising, breaking, for my sake:
While, coiled and numbed, and void of power,
My life sleeps like a winter snake.

I know that at the mid of night,
(When she flings by the glittering stress
Of Pride, that mocks the vulgar sight,
And fronts her chamber's loneliness,)

She breaks in tears, and, overthrown
With sorrowing, weeps the night away,
Till back to his unlovely throne
Returns the unrelenting day.

All treachery could devise hath wrought
Against us: -- letters robbed and read:
Snares hid in smiles: betrayal bought:
And lies imputed to the dead.

I will arise, and go to her,
And save her in her own despite;
For in my breast begins to stir
A pulse of its old power and might.

They cannot so have slandered me
But what, I know, if I should call
And stretch my arms to her, that she
Would rush into them, spite of all.

In Life's great lazar-house, each breath
We breathe may bring or spread the pest;
And, woman, each may catch his death
From those that lean upon his breast.

I know how tender friends of me
Have talked with broken hint, and glance:
-- The choicest flowers of calumny,
That seem, like weeds, to spring from chance; --

That small, small, imperceptible
Small talk, which cuts like powdered glass
Ground in Tophana -- none can tell
Where lurks the power the poison has!

I may be worse than they would prove,
(Who knows the worst of any man?)
But, right or wrong, be sure my love
Is not what they conceive, or can.

Nor do I question what thou art,
Nor what thy life, in great or small,
Thou art, I know, what all my heart
Must beat or break for. That is all.

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