Verse > Anthologies > > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse
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Arthur Quiller-Couch, comp.  The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse.  1922.
 
Warning and Reply
By Emily Brontë (1818–1848)
 
IN the earth—the earth—thou shalt be laid,
  A grey stone standing over thee;
Black mould beneath thee spread,
  And black mould to cover thee.
 
‘Well—there is rest there,        5
  So fast come thy prophecy:
The time when my sunny hair
  Shall with grass roots entwinèd be!’
 
But cold—cold is that resting-place,
  Shut out from joy and liberty,        10
And all who lov’d thy living face
  Will shrink from it shudderingly.
 
‘Not so. Here the world is chill,
  And sworn friends fall from me;
But there—they will own me still,        15
  And prize my memory.’
 
Farewell, then, all that love,
  All that deep sympathy;
Sleep on: Heaven laughs above,
  Earth never misses thee.        20
 
Turf-sod and tombstone drear
  Part human company:
One heart breaks only—here,
  But that heart was worthy thee!
 
 
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