Home  »  The Oxford Book of English Verse  »  722. Earl Mertoun’s Song

Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. 1919. The Oxford Book of English Verse: 1250–1900.

Robert Browning. 1812–1889

722. Earl Mertoun’s Song

THERE ‘s a woman like a dewdrop, she ‘s so purer than the purest; 
And her noble heart ‘s the noblest, yes, and her sure faith’s the surest: 
And her eyes are dark and humid, like the depth on depth of lustre 
Hid i’ the harebell, while her tresses, sunnier than the wild-grape cluster, 
Gush in golden-tinted plenty down her neck’s rose-misted marble:         5
Then her voice’s music … call it the well’s bubbling, the bird’s warble! 
And this woman says, ‘My days were sunless and my nights were moonless, 
Parch’d the pleasant April herbage, and the lark’s heart’s outbreak tuneless, 
If you loved me not!’ And I who (ah, for words of flame!) adore her, 
Who am mad to lay my spirit prostrate palpably before her—  10
I may enter at her portal soon, as now her lattice takes me, 
And by noontide as by midnight make her mine, as hers she makes me!