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Saturday, July 14, 2012

Rosalind's Scroll by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

I LEFT thee last, a child at heart, 
A woman scarce in years: 
I come to thee, a solemn corpse 
Which neither feels nor fears. 
I have no breath to use in sighs; 
They laid the dead-weights on mine eyes 
To seal them safe from tears. 

Look on me with thine own calm look: 
I meet it calm as thou. 
No look of thine can change this smile, 
Or break thy sinful vow: 
I tell thee that my poor scorn'd heart 
Is of thine earth--thine earth--a part: 
It cannot vex thee now. 

I have pray'd for thee with bursting sob 
When passion's course was free; 
I have pray'd for thee with silent lips 
In the anguish none could see; 
They whisper'd oft, 'She sleepeth soft'-- 
But I only pray'd for thee. 

Go to! I pray for thee no more: 
The corpse's tongue is still; 
Its folded fingers point to heaven, 
But point there stiff and chill: 
No farther wrong, no farther woe 
Hath licence from the sin below 
Its tranquil heart to thrill. 

I charge thee, by the living's prayer, 
And the dead's silentness, 
To wring from out thy soul a cry 
Which God shall hear and bless! 
Lest Heaven's own palm droop in my hand, 
And pale among the saints I stand, 
A saint companionless.

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