Modern Love: IX

By George Meredith 1828–1909 George Meredith
He felt the wild beast in him betweenwhiles
So masterfully rude, that he would grieve
To see the helpless delicate thing receive
His guardianship through certain dark defiles.
Had he not teeth to rend, and hunger too?
But still he spared her. Once: ‘Have you no fear?’
He said: ’twas dusk; she in his grasp; none near.
She laughed: ‘No, surely; am I not with you?’
And uttering that soft starry ‘you,’ she leaned
Her gentle body near him, looking up;
And from her eyes, as from a poison-cup,
He drank until the flittering eyelids screened.
Devilish malignant witch! and oh, young beam
Of heaven’s circle-glory! Here they shape
To squeeze like an intoxicating grape –
I might, and yet thou goest safe, supreme.

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Poet George Meredith 1828–1909

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Subjects Love, Desire, Realistic & Complicated

 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 . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Love, Desire, Realistic & Complicated

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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