Òåêñò îðèãèíàëà íà àíãëèéñêîì ÿçûêå
On The Brink
I WATCH’D her as she stoop’d to pluck A wild flower in her hair to twine; And wish’d that it had been my luck To call her mine; Anon I heard her rate with mad, Mad words her babe within its cot, And felt particularly glad That it had not. I knew (such subtle brains have men!) That she was uttering what she shouldn’t; And thought that I would chide, and then I thought I would n’t. Few could have gaz’d upon that face, Those pouting coral lips, and chided: A Rhadamanthus, in my place, Had done as I did. For wrath with which our bosoms glow Is chain’d there oft by Beauty’s spell; And, more than that, I did not know The widow well. So the harsh phrase pass’d unreprov’d: Still mute—(O brothers, was it sin?)— I drank, unutterably mov’d, Her beauty in. And to myself I murmur’d low, As on her upturn’d face and dress The moonlight fell, “Would she say No,— By chance, or Yes?” She stood so calm, so like a ghost, Betwixt me and that magic moon, That I already was almost A finish’d coon. But when she caught adroitly up And sooth’d with smiles her little daughter; And gave it, if I ’m right, a sup Of barley-water; And, crooning still the strange, sweet lore Which only mothers’ tongues can utter, Snow’d with deft hand the sugar o’er Its bread-and-butter; And kiss’d it clingingly (ah, why Don’t women do these things in private?)— I felt that if I lost her, I Should not survive it. And from my mouth the words nigh flew,— The past, the future, I forgat ’em,— “Oh, if you ’d kiss me as you do That thankless atom!” But this thought came ere yet I spake, And froze the sentence on my lips: “They err who marry wives that make Those little slips.” It came like some familiar rhyme, Some copy to my boyhood set; And that ’s perhaps the reason I’m Unmarried yet. Would she have own’d how pleas’d she was, And told her love with widow’s pride? I never found out that, because I never tried. Be kind to babes and beasts and birds, Hearts may be hard though lips are coral; And angry words are angry words: And that ’s the moral.
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