Modern Love: L
George Meredith, Modern Love, and Poems of the English Roadside, with poems and ballads (London: Chapman and Hall, 1862). end M474 M63 1862 Fisher Rare Book Library (Toronto).
2The union of this ever-diverse pair!
3These two were rapid falcons in a snare,
4Condemned to do the flitting of the bat.
5Lovers beneath the singing sky of May,
6They wandered once; clear as the dew on flowers:
7But they fed not on the advancing hours:
8Their hearts held cravings for the buried day.
9Then each applied to each that fatal knife,
10Deep questioning, which probes to endless dole.
11Ah, what a dusty answer gets the soul
12When hot for certainties in this our life!--
13In tragic hints here see what evermore
14Moves dark as yonder midnight ocean's force,
15Thundering like ramping hosts of warrior horse,
16To throw that faint thin line upon the shore!
1] This narrative sequence of fifty sixteen-line "sonnets" probably has its roots in the unhappy history of Meredith's unsuccessful marriage to his first wife, Mary Ellen Nicolls, Peacock's widowed daughter, who had been the inspiration for Love in the Valley. The great novel, The Ordeal of Richard Feverel (1859), tells the same story. Back to Line
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