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Lost Mistress, The
by Robert Browning

I.

All's over, then: does truth sound bitter
As one at first believes?
Hark, 'tis the sparrows' good-night twitter
About your cottage eaves!

II.

And the leaf-buds on the vine are woolly,
I noticed that, to-day;
One day more bursts them open fully
---You know the red turns grey.

III.

To-morrow we meet the same then, dearest?
May I take your hand in mine?
Mere friends are we,---well, friends the merest
Keep much that I resign:

IV.

For each glance of the eye so bright and black,
Though I keep with heart's endeavour,---
Your voice, when you wish the snowdrops back,
Though it stay in my soul for ever!---

V.

Yet I will but say what mere friends say,
Or only a thought stronger;
I will hold your hand but as long as all may,
Or so very little longer!