The Lost Mistress
by Robert Browning
All's over, then: does truth sound bitter
As one at first believes?
Hark, 'tis the sparrows' good-night twitter
About your cottage eaves!
And the leaf-buds on the vine are woolly,
I noticed that, to-day;
One day more bursts them open fully
---You know the red turns grey.
To-morrow we meet the same then, dearest?
May I take your hand in mine?
Mere friends are we,---well, friends the merest
Keep much that I resign:
For each glance of the eye so bright and black,
Though I keep with heart's endeavour,---
Your voice, when you wish the snowdrops back,
Though it stay in my soul for ever!---
Yet I will but say what mere friends say,
Or only a thought stronger;
I will hold your hand but as long as all may,
Or so very little longer!