Verse > Anthologies > Andrew Macphail, ed. > The Book of Sorrow
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Andrew Macphail, comp.  The Book of Sorrow.  1916.
 
XXIII. Grief
Grief
By 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 upward 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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