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.
  
Aubrey De Vere. 1814–1902
  
733. Sorrow
  
COUNT each affliction, whether light or grave, 
  God's messenger sent down to thee; do thou 
  With courtesy receive him; rise and bow; 
And, ere his shadow pass thy threshold, crave 
Permission first his heavenly feet to lave;         5
  Then lay before him all thou hast; allow 
  No cloud of passion to usurp thy brow, 
Or mar thy hospitality; no wave 
Of mortal tumult to obliterate 
  The soul's marmoreal calmness: Grief should be,  10
Like joy, majestic, equable, sedate; 
  Confirming, cleansing, raising, making free; 
Strong to consume small troubles; to commend 
Great thoughts, grave thoughts, thoughts lasting to the end. 
 
 
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