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Modern Love XLII: I Am to Follow Her

 I am to follow her.
There is much grace In woman when thus bent on martyrdom.
They think that dignity of soul may come, Perchance, with dignity of body.
Base! But I was taken by that air of cold And statuesque sedateness, when she said 'I'm going'; lit a taper, bowed her head, And went, as with the stride of Pallas bold.
Fleshly indifference horrible! The hands Of Time now signal: O, she's safe from me! Within those secret walls what do I see Where first she set the taper down she stands: Not Pallas: Hebe shamed! Thoughts black as death, Like a stirred pool in sunshine break.
Her wrists I catch: she faltering, as she half resists, 'You love.
.
.
? love.
.
.
? love.
.
.
?' all on an in-drawn breath.

by George Meredith
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