Modern Love: XIV

Original Text: 
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).
2Contempt the nobler agony to kill?
3Rather let me bear on the bitter ill,
4And strike this rusty bosom with new stings!
5It seems there is another veering fit
6Since on a gold-haired lady's eyeballs pure,
7I looked with little prospect of a cure,
8The while her mouth's red bow loosed shafts of wit.
9Just heaven! can it be true that jealousy
10Has decked the woman thus? and does her head
11Swim somewhat for possessions forfeited?
12Madam, you teach me many things that be.
13I open an old book, and there I find
14That "Women still may love whom they deceive."
15Such love I prize not, madam: by your leave,
16The game you play at is not to my mind.


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
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
H. Kerpneck
RPO Edition: 
3RP 3.293.