Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE WANDERER: 2. IN FRANCE: THE NOVEL, by EDWARD ROBERT BULWER-LYTTON



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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE WANDERER: 2. IN FRANCE: THE NOVEL, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Here, I have a book at last
Last Line: And you have not learned to read it.
Alternate Author Name(s): Meredith, Owen; Lytton, 1st Earl Of; Lytton, Robert
Subject(s): Books; France; Love - Unrequited; Travel; Reading; Journeys; Trips


"HERE, I have a book at last --
Sure," I thought, "to make you weep!"
But a careless glance you cast
O'er its pages, half asleep.

'T is a novel, -- a romance,
(What you will) of youth, of home,
And of brilliant days in France,
And long moonlit nights in Rome.

'T is a tale of tears and sins,
Of love's glory and its gloom;
In a ball-room it begins,
And it ends beside a tomb;

There's a little heroine too,
Whom each chapter leaves more pale;
And her eyes are dark and blue
Like the violet of the vale;

And her hand is frail and fair;
Could you but have seen it lie
O'er the convent death-bed, where
Wept the nuns to watch her die,

You, I think, had wept as well;
For the patience in her face
(Where the dying sunbeam fell)
Had such strange heart-breaking grace.

There's a lover, eager, bold,
Knocking at the convent gate:
But that little hand grows cold,
And the lover knocks too late.

There's a high-born lady stands
At a golden mirror, pale;
Something makes her jewelled hands
Tremble, as she hears the tale

Which her maid (while weaving roses
For the ball, through her dark hair)
Mixed with other news, discloses.
O, to-night she will look fair!

There's an old man, feeble-handed,
Counting gold..."My son shall wed
With the Princess, as I planned it,
Now that little girl is dead."

There's a young man, sullen, husht,
By remorse and grief unmanned,
With a withered primrose crusht
In his hot and feverish hand.

There's a broken-hearted woman,
Haggard, desolate, and wild,
Says..."The world hath grown inhuman!
Bury me beside my child."

And the little god of this world
Hears them, laughing in his sleeve.
He is master still in his world,
There's another, we believe.

Of this history every part
You have seen, yet did not heed it;
For 't is written in my heart,
And you have not learned to read it.





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