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I have been building myself, up, up, and toilfully raising,
Just like as if the bridge were to do it itself without
Painfully getting myself upraised one stone on another,
All one side I mean; and now I see on the other Just such another fabric uprising, better and stronger, Close to me, coming to join me: and then I sometimes fancy,
Sometimes I find myself dreaming at nights about arches and bridges,
Sometimes I dream of a great invisible hand coming down, and
Dropping the great key-stone in the middle: there in my dreaming,
There I felt the great key-stone coming in, and through it
Feel the other part-all the other stones of the arch
Joined into mine with a strange happy sense of completeness. But, dear me,
This is confusion and nonsense. I mix all the things I can think of.
And you won't understand, Mr. Philip.
But while she was speaking, So it happened, a moment she paused from her work,
Laid her hand on her lap: Philip took it: she did not resist:
So he retained her fingers, the knitting being stopped.
Came all over her more and yet more from his hand, from her heart, and
Most from the sweet idea and image her brain was renewing.
So he retained her hand, and, his tears down-dropping on it,
Trembling a long time, kissed it at last. And she ended.
And as she ended, uprose he: saying, What have I heard? Oh,
What have I done, that such words should be said to me? Oh, I see it,
See the great key-stone coming down from the heaven of heavens;
And he fell at her feet, and buried his face in her
But as under the moon and stars they went to the cottage,
Elspie sighed and said, Be patient, dear Mr. Philip, Do not do anything hasty. It is all so soon, so
Do not say anything yet to any one.
Elspie, he answered, Does not my friend go on Friday? I then shall see
nothing of you.
Do not I go myself on Monday?
But oh, he said, Elspie!
Do as I bid you, my child: do not go on calling
Might I not just as well be calling you Miss Elspie? Call me, this heavenly night for once, for the first time, Philip.
Philip, she said, and laughed, and said she could not say it;
Philip, she said; he turned, and kissed the sweet lips as they said it.
But on the morrow Elspie kept out of the way of
And at the evening seat, when he took her hand by
Drew it back, saying, almost peevishly,
No, Mr. Philip,
I was quite right, last night; it is too soon, too sudden.
We mustn't pull ourselves at the great key-stone of
Some one else up above must hold it, fit it, and fix it; If we try ourselves, we shall only damage the archway, Damage all our own work that we wrought, our painful upbuilding.
BRADBURY, AGNEW, & CO. LD., PRINTERS, LONDON AND TONBRIDGE.