Modern Love XXII: What May the Woman

George Meredith 1828 (Portsmouth, Hampshire) – 1909 (Box Hill, Surrey)

What may the woman labour to confess?
There is about her mouth a nervous twitch.
'Tis something to be told, or hidden:--which?
I get a glimpse of hell in this mild guess.
She has desires of touch, as if to feel
That all the household things are things she knew.
She stops before the glass. What sight in view?
A face that seems the latest to reveal!
For she turns from it hastily, and tossed
Irresolute, steals shadow-like to where
I stand; and wavering pale before me there,
Her tears fall still as oak-leaves after frost.
She will not speak. I will not ask. We are
League-sundered by the silent gulf between.
Yon burly lovers on the village green,
Yours is a lower, and a happier star!

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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George Meredith

George Meredith was an English novelist and poet of the Victorian era. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature seven times. more…

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"Modern Love XXII: What May the Woman" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 8 Aug. 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/15535/modern-love-xxii:-what-may-the-woman>.

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