Sharp is the night, but stars with frost alive Leap off the rim of earth across the dome. It is a night to make the heavens our home More than the nest whereto apace we strive. Lengths down our road each fir-tree seems a hive, In swarms outrushing from the golden comb. They waken waves of thoughts that burst to foam: The living throb in me, the dead revive. Yon mantle clothes us: there, past mortal breath, Life glistens on the river of the death. It folds us, flesh and dust; and have we knelt, Or never knelt, or eyed as kine the springs Of radiance, the radiance enrings: And this is the soul's haven to have felt.
George Meredith - 1828-1909
Modern Love: XXIII
’Tis Christmas weather, and a country house
Receives us: rooms are full: we can but get
An attic-crib. Such lovers will not fret
At that, it is half-said. The great carouse
Knocks hard upon the midnight’s hollow door,
But when I knock at hers, see the pit.
Why did I come here in that dullard fit?
I enter, and lie couched upon the floor.
Passing, I caught the coverlet’s quick beat:—
Come, Shame, burn to my soul! and Pride, and Pain—
Foul demons that hace tortured me, enchain!
Out in the freezing darkness the lambs bleat.
The small bird stiffens in the low starlight.
I know not how, but shuddering as I slept,
I dreamed a banished angel to me crept:
My feet were nourished on her breasts all night.