Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE WANDERER: 4. IN SWITZERLAND: A QUIET MOMEMENT, by EDWARD ROBERT BULWER-LYTTON



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THE WANDERER: 4. IN SWITZERLAND: A QUIET MOMEMENT, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Stay with me, lady, while you may!
Last Line: Before again we meet!
Alternate Author Name(s): Meredith, Owen; Lytton, 1st Earl Of; Lytton, Robert
Subject(s): Switzerland; Travel; Swiss; Journeys; Trips


STAY with me, Lady, while you may!
For life 's so sad, -- this hour 's so sweet;
Ah, Lady, -- life too long will stay;
Too soon this hour will fleet.

How fair this mountain's purple bust,
Alone in high and glimmering air!
And see, ... those village spires, upthrust
From yon dark plain, -- how fair!

How sweet yon lone and lovely scene,
And yonder dropping fiery ball,
And eve's sweet spirit, that steals, unseen,
With darkness over all!

This blessed hour is yours, and eve's;
And this is why it seems so sweet
To lie, as husht as fallen leaves
In autumn, at your feet;

And watch, awhile released from care,
The twilight in yon quiet skies,
The twilight in your quiet hair,
The twilight in your eyes:

Till in my soul the twilight stays,
-- Eve's twilight, since the dawn's is o'er!
And life's too well-known worthless days
Become unknown once more.

Your face is no uncommon face;
Like it, I have seen many a one,
And may again, before my race
Of care be wholly run.

But not the less, those earnest brows,
And that pure oval cheek can charm; --
Those eyes of tender deep repose;
That breast, the heart keeps warm.

Because a sense of goodness sleeps
In every sober, soft, brown tress,
That o'er those brows, uncared for, keeps
Its shadowy quietness:

Because that lip's soft silence shows,
Though passion it hath never known,
That well, to kiss one kiss, it knows --
-- A woman's holiest one!

Yours is the charm of calm good sense,
Of wholesome views of earth and heaven,
Of pity, touched with reverence,
To all things freely given.

Your face no sleepless midnight fills,
For all its serious sweet endeavor;
It plants no pang, no rapture thrills,
But ah! -- it pleases ever!

Not yours is Cleopatra's eye,
And Juliet's tears you never knew:
Never will amorous Antony
Kiss kingdoms out for you!

Never for you will Romeo's love,
From deeps of moonlit musing, break
To poetry about the glove
Whose touch may press your cheek.

But ah, in one, -- no Antony
Nor Romeo now, nor like to these, --
(Whom neither Cleopatra's eye,
Nor Juliet's tears, could please)

How well they lull the lurking care
Which else within the mind endures, --
That soft white hand, that soft dark hair,
And that soft voice of yours!

So, while you stand, a fragile form,
With that close shawl around you drawn,
And eve's last ardors fading warm
Adown the mountain lawn,

'T is sweet, although we part to-morrow,
And ne'er, the same, shall meet again,
Awhile, from old habitual sorrow
To cease; to cease from pain;

To feel that, ages past, the soul
Hath lived -- and ages hence will live;
And taste, in hours like this, the whole
Of all the years can give.

Then, Lady, yet one moment stay,
While your sweet face makes all things sweet,
For ah, the charm will pass away
Before again we meet!






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