Modern Love: XXVI

By George Meredith 1828–1909 George Meredith
Love ere he bleeds, an eagle in high skies,
Has earth beneath his wings: from reddened eve
He views the rosy dawn. In vain they weave
The fatal web below while far he flies.
But when the arrow strikes him, there's a change.
He moves but in the track of his spent pain,
Whose red drops are the links of a harsh chain,
Binding him to the ground, with narrow range.
A subtle serpent then has Love become.
I had the eagle in my bosom erst:
Henceforward with the serpent I am cursed.
I can interpret where the mouth is dumb.
Speak, and I see the side-lie of a truth.
Perchance my heart may pardon you this deed:
But be no coward:—you that made Love bleed,
You must bear all the venom of his tooth!

Discover this poem’s context and related poetry, articles, and media.

Poet George Meredith 1828–1909

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Subjects Relationships, Love, Break-ups & Vexed Love, Realistic & Complicated

Poetic Terms Sonnet, Metaphor

 George  Meredith

Biography

George Meredith was a major Victorian novelist whose career developed in conjunction with an era of great change in English literature during the second half of the nineteenth century. While his early novels largely conformed to Victorian literary conventions, his later novels demonstrated a concern with character psychology, modern social problems, and the development of the novel form that has led to his being considered an . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Relationships, Love, Break-ups & Vexed Love, Realistic & Complicated

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Poetic Terms Sonnet, Metaphor

Report a problem with this poem

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.