"How Sad And Bad And Mad It Was"

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Last Updated on September 22, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 142

Context: On his death bed a man is asked by his clergyman if the world seems to him a place of sadness; he answers "no," and, gazing on the medicine bottles by his bed, says that their arrangement on the table reminds him of the lane he used to go down in secret for rendezvous with his lover. Their love affair was forbidden and improper, he confesses, and had to be conducted beyond the watchful eyes of her parents. Forbidden fruit is sometimes sweetest, and the sense of danger which surrounded their meetings and the knowledge that their romance was illicit, only added to the intoxication of their love. She . . . stole from stair to stair,

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And stood by the rose-wreathed gate. Alas,
We loved, sir–used to meet:
How sad and bad and mad it was–
But then, how it was sweet!

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