Verse > Anthologies > Andrew Macphail, ed. > The Book of Sorrow
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Andrew Macphail, comp.  The Book of Sorrow.  1916.
 
XXVIII. Loneliness
‘Go from me. Yet I feel that I shall stand’
By Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806–1861)
 
From ‘Sonnets from the Portuguese’

GO from me. Yet I feel that I shall stand
  Henceforward in thy shadow. Nevermore
  Alone upon the threshold of my door
Of individual life, I shall command
The uses of my soul, nor lift my hand        5
  Serenely in the sunshine as before,
  Without the sense of that which I forbore,—
Thy touch upon the palm. The widest land
Doom takes to part us, leaves thy heart in mine
  With pulses that beat double. What I do        10
And what I dream include thee, as the wine
  Must taste of its own grapes. And when I sue
God for myself, He hears that name of thine,
And sees within my eyes the tears of two.
*        *        *        *        *
Belovèd, my Belovèd, when I think        15
  That thou wast in the world a year ago,
  What time I sate alone here in the snow
And saw no footprint, heard the silence sink
No moment at thy voice,—but, link by link,
  Went counting all my chains, as if that so        20
  They never could fall off at any blow
Struck by thy possible hand—why, thus I drink
Of life’s great cup of wonder! Wonderful,
Never to feel thee thrill the day or night
With personal act or speech,—nor ever cull        25
  Some prescience of thee with the blossoms white
Thou sawest growing! Atheists are as dull,
  Who cannot guess God’s presence out of sight.
 
 
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