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Poem by George Meredith


Modern Love. Sonnet 22. What May the Woman Labour to Confess?


What may the woman labour to confess?
There is about her mouth a nervous twitch.
'Tis something to be told, or hidden: -- which?
I get a glimpse of hell in this mild guess.
She has desires of touch, as if to feel
That all the household things are things she knew.
She stops before the glass. What sight in view?
A face that seems the latest to reveal!
For she turns from it hastily, and tossed
Irresolute, steals shadow-like to where
I stand; and wavering pale before me there,
Her tears fall still as oak-leaves after frost.
She will not speak. I will not ask. We are
League-sundered by the silent gulf between.
You burly lovers on the village green,
Yours is a lower, and a happier star!



George Meredith


George Meredith's other poems:
  1. Modern Love. Sonnet 24. The Misery is Greater, as I Live!
  2. Empdeocles
  3. On Como
  4. Hawarden
  5. Alternation


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