Verse > Anthologies > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of English Verse
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Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. 1919. The Oxford Book of English Verse: 1250–1900.
  
Elizabeth Barrett Browning. 1806–1861
  
678. Rosalind's Scroll
  
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;         5
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,  10
  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  15
  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.  20
 
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  25
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  30
  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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