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Modern Love XXIV: The Misery Is Greater

 The misery is greater, as I live! 
To know her flesh so pure, so keen her sense, 
That she does penance now for no offence, 
Save against Love.
The less can I forgive! The less can I forgive, though I adore That cruel lovely pallor which surrounds Her footsteps; and the low vibrating sounds That come on me, as from a magic shore.
Low are they, but most subtle to find out The shrinking soul.
Madam, 'tis understood When women play upon their womanhood; It means, a Season gone.
And yet I doubt But I am duped.
That nun-like look waylays My fancy.
Oh! I do but wait a sign! Pluck out the eyes of pride! thy mouth to mine! Never! though I die thirsting.
Go thy ways!

by George Meredith
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