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THE WANDERER: 2. IN FRANCE: THE LAST REMONSTRANCE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Yes! I am worse than thou didst once believe me
Last Line: Still loving thee.
Alternate Author Name(s): Meredith, Owen; Lytton, 1st Earl Of; Lytton, Robert
Subject(s): France; Love; Travel; Journeys; Trips

YES! I am worse than thou didst once believe me.
Worse than thou deem'st me now I cannot be --
But say "the Fiend's no blacker," ... canst thou leave me?
Where wilt thou flee?

Where wilt thou bear the relics of the days
Squandered round this dethroned love of thine?
Hast thou the silver and the gold to raise
A new God's shrine?

Thy cheek hath lost its roundness and its bloom:
Who will forgive those signs where tears have fed
On thy once lustrous eyes, -- save he for whom
Those tears were shed?

Know I not every grief whose course hath sown
Lines on thy brow, and silver in thy hair?
Will new love learn the language, mine alone
Hath graven there?

Despite the blemisht beauty of thy brow,
Thou wouldst be lovely, couldst thou love again;
For Love renews the Beautiful: but thou
Hast only pain.

How wilt thou bear from pity to implore
What once those eyes from rapture could command?
How wilt thou stretch -- who wast a Queen of yore --
A suppliant's hand?

Even were thy heart content from love to ask
No more than needs to keep it from the chill,
Hast thou the strength to recommence the task
Of pardoning still?

Wilt thou to one, exacting all that I
Have lost the right to ask for, still extend
Forgiveness on forgiveness, with that sigh
That dreads the end?

Ah, if thy heart can pardon yet, why yet
Should not its latest pardon be for me?
For who will bend, the boon he seeks to get,
On lowlier knee?

Where wilt thou find the unworthier heart than mine,
That it may be more grateful, or more lowly?
To whom else, pardoning much, become divine
By pardoning wholly?

Hath not thy forehead paled beneath my kiss?
And through thy life have I not writ my name?
Hath not my soul signed thine? ...I gave thee bliss,
If I gave shame:

The shame, but not the bliss, where'er thou goest,
Will haunt thee yet: to me no shame thou hast:
To me alone, what now thou art, thou knowest
By what thou wast.

What other hand will help thy heart to swell
To raptures mine first taught it how to feel?
Or from the unchorded harp and vacant shell
New notes reveal?

Ah, by my dark and sullen nature nurst,
And rocked by passion on this stormy heart,
Be mine the last, as thou wert mine the first!
We dare not part!

At best a fallen Angel to mankind,
To me be still the seraph I have dared
To show my hell to, and whose love resigned
Its pain hath shared.

If, faring on together, I have fed
Thy lips on poisons, they were sweet at least,
Nor couldst thou thrive where holier Love hath spread
His simpler feast.

Change would be death. Could severance from my side
Bring thee repose, I would not bid thee stay.
My love should meet, as calmly as my pride,
That parting day.

It may not be: for thou couldst not forget me, --
Not that my own is more than other natures,
But that 't is different: and thou wouldst regret me
'Mid purer creatures.

Then, if love's first ideal now grows wan,
And thou wilt love again, -- again love me,
For what I am: -- no hero, but a man
Still loving thee.

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