Page:Aurora Leigh a Poem.djvu/49

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40
AURORA LEIGH.


Of being my Shakspeare’s.
 Very oft alone,
Unlicensed; not unfrequently with leave
To walk the third with Romney and his friend
The rising painter, Vincent Carrington,
Whom men judge hardly, as bee-bonneted,
Because he holds that, paint a body well,
You paint a soul by implication, like
The grand first Master. Pleasant walks! for if
He said . . ‘When I was last in Italy’ . .
It sounded as an instrument that’s played
Too far off for the tune—and yet it’s fine
To listen.
 Often we walked only two,
If cousin Romney pleased to walk with me.
We read, or talked, or quarrelled, as it chanced:
We were not lovers, nor even friends well-matched—
Say rather, scholars upon different tracks,
And thinkers disagreed; he, overfull
Of what is, and I, haply, overbold
For what might be.
 But then the thrushes sang,
And shook my pulses and the elms’ new leaves,—
And then I turned, and held my finger up,
And bade him mark that, howsoe’er the world
Went ill, as he related, certainly
The thrushes still sang in it.—At which word
His brow would soften,—and he bore with me
In melancholy patience, not unkind,
While, breaking into voluble ecstasy,