Paolo To Francesca

A poem by James Russell Lowell

I was with thee in Heaven: I cannot tell
If years or moments, so the sudden bliss,
When first we found, then lost, us in a kiss.
Abolished Time, abolished Earth and Hell,
Left only Heaven. Then from our blue there fell
The dagger's flash, and did not fall amiss,
For nothing now can rob my life of this,--
That once with thee in Heaven, all else is well.
Us, undivided when man's vengeance came,
God's half-forgives that doth not here divide;
And, were this bitter whirl-blast fanged with flame,
To me 'twere summer, we being side by side:
This granted, I God's mercy will not blame,
For, given thy nearness, nothing is denied.

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