Page:Aurora Leigh a Poem.djvu/17

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8
AURORA LEIGH.


A fool will pass for such through one mistake,
While a philosopher will pass for such,
Through said mistakes being ventured in the gross
And heaped up to a system.
 I am like,
They tell me, my dear father. Broader brows
Howbeit, upon a slenderer undergrowth
Of delicate features,—paler, near as grave;
But then my mother’s smile breaks up the whole,
And makes it better sometimes than itself.

So, nine full years, our days were hid with God
Among his mountains. I was just thirteen,
Still growing like the plants from unseen roots
In tongue-tied Springs,—and suddenly awoke
To full life and its needs and agonies,
With an intense, strong, struggling heart beside
A stone-dead father. Life, struck sharp on death,
Makes awful lightning. His last word was, ‘Love—’
‘Love, my child, love, love!’—(then he had done with grief)
‘Love, my child.’ Ere I answered he was gone,
And none was left to love in all the world.

There, ended childhood: what succeeded next
I recollect as, after fevers, men
Thread back the passage of delirium,
Missing the turn still, baffled by the door;
Smooth endless days, notched here and there with knives;
A weary, wormy darkness, spurred i’ the flank