Verse > Anthologies > Hunt and Lee, eds. > The Book of the Sonnet
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Hunt and Lee, comps.  The Book of the Sonnet.  1867.
 
IV. Desolation
By Henry Theodore Tuckerman (1813–1871)
 
THINK ye the desolate must live apart,
  By solemn vows to convent-walls confined?
Ah! no; with men may dwell the cloistered heart,
  And in a crowd the isolated mind:
Tearless behind the prison-bars of fate,        5
  The world sees not how desolate they stand,
Gazing so fondly through the iron grate
  Upon the promised yet forbidden land;
Patience, the shrine to which their bleeding feet
  Day after day in voiceless penance turn;        10
Silence, the holy cell and calm retreat,
  In which unseen their meek devotions burn:
Life is to them a vigil, which none share,
Their hopes a sacrifice, their love a prayer.
 
 
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