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Modern Love VI: It Chanced His Lips Did Meet

 It chanced his lips did meet her forehead cool.
She had no blush, but slanted down her eye.
Shamed nature, then, confesses love can die: And most she punishes the tender fool Who will believe what honours her the most! Dead! is it dead? She has a pulse, and flow Of tears, the price of blood-drops, as I know, For whom the midnight sobs around Love's ghost, Since then I heard her, and so will sob on.
The love is here; it has but changed its aim.
O bitter barren woman! what's the name? The name, the name, the new name thou hast won? Behold me striking the world's coward stroke! That will I not do, though the sting is dire.
Beneath the surface this, while by the fire They sat, she laughing at a quiet joke.

by George Meredith
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