Page:Aurora Leigh a Poem.djvu/29

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20
AURORA LEIGH.


At whiles she let him shut my music up
And push my needles down, and lead me out
To see in that south angle of the house
The figs grow black as if by a Tuscan rock,
On some light pretext. She would turn her head
At other moments, go to fetch a thing,
And leave me breath enough to speak with him,
For his sake; it was simple.
 Sometimes too
He would have saved me utterly, it seemed,
He stood and looked so.
 Once, he stood so near
He dropped a sudden hand upon my head
Bent down on woman’s work, as soft as rain—
But then I rose and shook it off as fire,
The stranger’s touch that took my father’s place,
Yet dared seem soft.
 I used him for a friend
Before I ever knew him for a friend.
’Twas better, ’twas worse also, afterward:
We came so close, we saw our differences
Too intimately. Always Romney Leigh
Was looking for the worms, I for the gods.
A godlike nature his; the gods look down,
Incurious of themselves; and certainly
’Tis well I should remember, how, those days
I was a worm too, and he looked on me.

A little by his act perhaps, yet more
By something in me, surely not my will,