Sonnet

To George Sand. A Desire.

THOU large-brained woman and large-hearted man,
Self-called George Sand ! whose soul, amid the lions
Of thy tumultuous senses, moans defiance
And answers roar for roar, as spirits can :
I would some mild miraculous thunder ran
Above the applauded circus, in appliance
Of thine own nobler nature's strength and science,—
Drawing two pinions, white as wings of swan,
From thy strong shoulders, to amaze the place
With holier light ! That thou to woman's claim,
And man's, might join beside the angel's grace

The Destroyer of a Soul

I hate you with a necessary hate.
First, I sought patience: passionate was she:
My patience turned in very scorn of me,
That I should dare forgive a sin so great,
As this, through which I sit disconsolate;
Mourning for that live soul, I used to see;
Soul of a saint, whose friend I used to be:
Till you came by! a cold, corrupting, fate.

Why come you now? You, whom I cannot cease
With pure and perfect hate to hate? Go, ring
The death-bell with a deep, triumphant toll!
Say you, my friend sits by me still? Ah, peace!

A Dream

Once in a dream (for once I dreamed of you)
  We stood together in an open field ;
  Above our heads two swift-winged pigeons wheeled,
Sporting at ease and courting full in view.
When loftier still a broadening darkness flew,
  Down-swooping, and a ravenous hawk revealed ;
  Too weak to fight, too fond to fly, they yield ;
So farewell life and love and pleasures new.
Then as their plumes fell fluttering to the ground,
  Their snow-white plumage flecked with crimson drops,
    I wept, and thought I turned towards you to weep :

To George Sand. A Recognition.

TRUE genius, but true woman ! dost deny
Thy woman's nature with a manly scorn,
And break away the gauds and armlets worn
By weaker women in captivity ?
Ah, vain denial ! that revolted cry
Is sobbed in by a woman's voice forlorn :—
Thy woman's hair, my sister, all unshorn,
Floats back dishevelled strength in agony,
Disproving thy man's name. And while before
The world thou burnes in a poet-fire,
We see thy woman-heart beat evermore
Through the large flame. Beat purer, heart, and higher,

The World

BY day she wooes me, soft, exceeding fair :
  But all night as the moon so changeth she ;
  Loathsome and foul with hideous leprosy
And subtle serpents gliding in her hair.
By day she wooes me to the outer air,
  Ripe fruits, sweet flowers, and full satiety :
  But through the night, a beast she grins at me,
A very monster void of love and prayer.
By day she stands a lie : by night she stands
  In all the naked horror of the truth
With pushing horns and clawed and clutching hands.