[This Victorian Web version of The Angel in the House is based on the Project Gutenberg e-text, which was produced by David Price (e-mail ccx074@coventry.ac.uk), from the 1888 Cassell & Company edition. GPL created the html, added links, and made corrections in the text after comparing it with other editions.]

A florin to the willing Guard
     Secured, for half the way,
(He lock'd us in, ah, lucky-starr'd,)
     A curtain'd, front coupe.
The sparkling sun of August shone;
     The wind was in the West;
Your gown and all that you had on
     Was what became you best;
And we were in that seldom mood
     When soul with soul agrees,
Mingling, like flood with equal flood,
     In agitated ease.
Far round, each blade of harvest bare
     Its little load of bread;
Each furlong of that journey fair
     With separate sweetness sped.
The calm of use was coming o'er
     The wonder of our wealth,
And now, maybe, 'twas not much more
     Than Eden's common health.
We paced the sunny platform, while
     The train at Havant changed:
What made the people kindly smile,
     Or stare with looks estranged?
Too radiant for a wife you seem'd,
     Serener than a bride;
Me happiest born of men I deem'd,
     And show'd perchance my pride.
I loved that girl, so gaunt and tall,
     Who whispered loud, 'Sweet Thing!'
Scanning your figure, slight yet all
     Round as your own gold ring.
At Salisbury you stray'd alone
     Within the shafted glooms,
Whilst I was by the Verger shown
     The brasses and the tombs.
At tea we talk'd of matters deep,
     Of joy that never dies;
We laugh'd, till love was mix'd with sleep
     Within your great sweet eyes.
The next day, sweet with luck no less
     And sense of sweetness past,
The full tide of our happiness
     Rose higher than the last.
At Dawlish, 'mid the pools of brine,
     You stept from rock to rock,
One hand quick tightening upon mine,
     One holding up your frock.
On starfish and on weeds alone
     You seem'd intent to be:
Flash'd those great gleams of hope unknown
     From you, or from the sea?
Ne'er came before, ah, when again
     Shall come two days like these:
Such quick delight within the brain,
     Within the heart such peace?
I thought, indeed, by magic chance,
     A third from Heaven to win,
But as, at dusk, we reach'd Penzance,
     A drizzling rain set in.

Last updated 10 August 2004