(John) Westland Marston (1819-1890)

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In that tranced hush when sound sank awed to rest,
Ere from her spirit's rose-red, rose-sweet gate
Came forth to me her royal word of fate,
Did she sigh "Yes," and droop upon my breast;
While round our rapture, dumb, fixed, unexpressed
By the seized senses, there did fluctuate
The plaintive surges of our mortal state,
Tempering the poignant ecstasy too blest.

Do I wake into a dream, or have we twain,
Lured by soft wiles to some unconscious crime,
Dared joys forbid to man? Oh, Light supreme,
Upon our brows transfiguring glory rain,
Nor let the sword of thy just angel gleam
On two who entered heaven before their time!


An Inference

If I had lived ere seer or priest unveiled
A life to come, methinks that, knowing thee,
I should have guessed thine immortality;
For Nature, giving instincts, never failed
To give the ends they point to. Never quailed
The swallow, through air-wilds, o'er tracts of sea,
To chase the summer; seeds that prisoned be
Dream of and find the daylight. Unassailed
By doubt, impelled by yearnings for the main,
The creature river-born doth there emerge;
So thou, with thoughts and longings which our earth
Can never compass in its narrow verge,
Shalt the fit region of thy spirit gain,
And death fulfil the promptings of thy birth.

(Texts from Sonnets of This Century)