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About this poet

George Meredith was born in Portsmouth, England, on February 12, 1828. A poet, essayist, and novelist, his collection of fifty sixteen-line poems about the failure of a marriage, Modern Love (1862), is sometimes referred to as a "Meredithian sonnet cycle." Among his many other collections of poetry and prose, he is known for his witty and popular work, The Egoist: A Comedy in Narrative (1879), which was published in three volumes. He died on May 18, 1909, in Box Hill Surrey, England. 

Modern Love: XXXVI

My Lady unto Madam makes her bow.
The charm of women is, that even while
You’re probed by them for tears you yet may smile,
Nay, laugh outright, as I have done just now.
The interview was gracious: they anoint
(To me aside) each other with fine praise:
Discriminating compliments they raise,
That hit with wondrous aim on the weak point:
My Lady’s nose of Nature might complain.
It is not fashioned aptly to express
Her character of large-browed steadfastness.
But Madam says: ‘Thereof she may be vain!’
Now Madam’s faulty feature is a glazed
And inaccessible eye, that has soft fires,
Wide gates, at love-time only. This admires
My Lady. At the two I stand amazed.

This poem is in the public domain.

This poem is in the public domain.

George Meredith

George Meredith

George Meredith was born in Portsmouth, England, on February 12, 1828.

by this poet

poem
In our old shipwrecked days there was an hour,
When in the firelight steadily aglow,
Joined in slackly, we beheld the red chasm grow
Among the clicking coals. Our library-bower
That eve was left to us: and hushed we sat
As lovers to whom Time is whispering.
poem
By this he knew she wept with waking eyes:
That, at his hand's light quiver by her head,
The strange low sobs that shook their common bed
Were called into her with a sharp surprise,
And strangled mute, like little gaping snakes,
Dreadfully venomous to him. She lay
Stone-still, and the long darkness flowed away
poem
He felt the wild beast in him between whiles
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 be spared her. Once: ‘Have you no