Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. III. Sorrow and Consolation
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume III. Sorrow and Consolation.  1904.
 
III. Adversity
Hopeless Grief
Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806–1861)
 
I TELL you, hopeless grief is passionless,—
That only men incredulous of despair,
Half-taught in anguish, through the midnight air
Beat upwards to God’s throne in loud access
Of shrieking and reproach. Full desertness,        5
In souls as countries lieth silent-bare
Under the blanching, vertical eye-glare
Of the absolute heavens. Deep-hearted man, express
Grief for thy Dead in silence like to death;
Most like a monumental statue set        10
In everlasting watch and moveless woe,
Till itself crumble to the dust beneath.
Touch it: the marble eyelids are not wet—
If it could weep, it could arise and go.
 
 
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