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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. The Book of Georgian Verse. 1909.


Walter Savage Landor (1775–1864)

WHEN Helen first saw wrinkles in her face

(’Twas when some fifty long had settled there

And intermarried and branched off awide)

She threw herself upon her couch and wept:

On this side hung her head, and over that

Listlessly she let fall the faithless brass

That made the men as faithless.
But when you

Found them, or fancied them, and would not hear

That they were only vestiges of smiles,

Or the impression of some amorous hair

Astray from cloistered curls and roseate band,

Which had been lying there all night perhaps

Upon a skin so soft, ‘No, no,’ you said,

‘Sure, they are coming, yes, are come, are here:

Well, and what matters it, while thou art too!’