His Consolation

(BROWNING)




So be it; you give me my release,
And let me go. Yes, I am free.
But think you that a love will cease
By bidding merely? Can yon sea
Stop at the title's increase?

You hold the matter ended, then?
Are right if you begin anew?
You tum your eyes on other men.
Can that fact cut my love from you,
If you win one or ten?

[Know this—-I should be doubly beast—
If I turned from the purpose set
Years back—-And now when Love is least
Toward me, I can linger yet
While others share the feast.]

Your words count nothing, since your soul
Is mine—as you will find at last,
When you have finished out the whole
Of life, and stare at me aghast,
Waiting you at the goal.

You cannot, cannot understand?
Go forward, then. The time will be
When, lip to lip and hand to hand,
By some far-distant planet's sea
We meet—and I command.