|Sunday Morning (1871) by Lawrence Alma-Tadema|
Despite the apparent lack of light, Romney can "see" better now, particularly with respect to Aurora's ability as a poet, than he could before:
Aurora points out the natural contradiction in such an epiphanic occurrence. Although surrounded by brightness, Romney remained in the dark. He contributed the inability to see to geographical location: "This night is softer than an English day" (VIII, 355). Romney believes that Italy is more conducive to true vision than England, an idea with which Aurora may agree, considering her writings improved upon her return. Furthermore, Romney praises the night during which the revelation has come:
"But oh, the night! oh, bitter-sweet! oh, sweet!
O dark, O moon and stars, O ecstasy
Of darkness! O great mystery of love,–
In which absorbed, loss, anguish, treason's self
Enlarges rapture" (IX, 814-8).
Romney connects the night with love and declares his love for Aurora. He wants the symbolically-named heroine to be his light, calling her "dearest light of souls/Which rul'st for evermore both day and night" (831-2). The ironic part of this eye opening experience is that Romney has been blinded by a falling beam that struck him when his home was set afire. Though he cannot distinguish light from dark, he wishes to have Aurora as the most valuable light in his life. In the earlier meeting, they could not see eye-to-eye on the role of women and poets, and now, though they have come to an agreement on that issue, they literally cannot see eye-to-eye due to Romney's blindness. Considering such, Romney wants Aurora to be his physical as well as philosophical guide in life.