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.
 
Aloof
By Christina Georgina Rossetti (1830–1894)
 
THE IRRESPONSIVE silence of the land,
  The irresponsive sounding of the sea,
  Speak both one message of one sense to me:—
Aloof, aloof, we stand aloof, so stand
Thou too aloof, bound with the flawless band        5
  Of inner solitude; we bind not thee;
  But who from thy self-chain shall set thee free?
What heart shall touch thy heart? What hand thy hand?
And I am sometimes proud and sometimes meek,
  And sometimes I remember days of old        10
When fellowship seem’d not so far to seek,
  And all the world and I seem’d much less cold,
  And at the rainbow’s foot lay surely gold,
And hope felt strong, and life itself not weak.
 
 
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