by Robert Browning
THE rain set early in to-night
The sullen wind was soon awake
It tore the elm-tops down for spite
And did its worst to vex the lake:
I listened with heart fit to break.
When glided in Porphyria; straight
She shut the cold out and the storm
And kneeled and made the cheerless grate
Blaze upand all the cottage warm;
Which doneshe roseand from her form
Withdrew the dripping cloak and shawl
And laid her soiled gloves byuntied
Her hat and let the damp hair fall
Andlastshe sat down by my side
And called me. When no voice replied
She put my arm about her waist
And made her smooth white shoulder bare
And all her yellow hair displaced
Andstoopingmade my cheek lie there
And spreado'er allher yellow hair
Murmuring how she loved me- she
Too weakfor all her heart's endeavor
To set its struggling passion free
From prideand vainer ties dissever
And give herself to me forever.
But passion sometimes would prevail
Nor could to-night's gay feast restrain
A sudden thought of one so pale
For love of herand all in vain:
Soshe was come through wind and rain.
Be sure I looked up at her eyes
Happy and proud; at last I knew
Porphyria worshipped me: surprise
Made my heart swelland still it grew
While I debated what to do.
That moment she was mineminefair
Perfectly pure and good: I found
A thing to doand all her hair
In one long yellow string I wound
Three times her little throat around
And strangled her. No pain felt she;
I am quite sure she felt no pain.
As a shut bud that hold a bee
I warily oped her lids: again
Laughed the blue eyes without a stain.
And I untightened next the tress
About her neck; her cheek once more
Blushed bright beneath my burning kiss:
I propped her head up as before
Onlythis time my shoulder bore
Her headwhich droops upon it still:
The smiling rosy little head
So glad it has its utmost will
That all it scorned at once is fled
And Iits loveam gained instead!
Porphyria's love: she guessed not how
Her darling one wish would be heard.
And thus we sit together now
And all night long we have not stirred
And yet God has not said a word! - -