Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895
Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895.  1895.
From “The House of Life: a Sonnet-Sequence.” VI. Broken Music
Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828–82)
THE MOTHER will not turn, who thinks she hears
Her nursling’s speech first grow articulate;
But breathless, with averted eyes elate
She sits, with open lips and open ears,
That it may call her twice. ’Mid doubts and fears        5
Thus oft my soul has hearken’d; till the song,
A central moan for days, at length found tongue,
And the sweet music well’d and the sweet tears.
But now, whatever while the soul is fain
To list that wonted murmur, as it were        10
The speech-bound sea-shell’s low, importunate strain,—
No breath of song, thy voice alone is there,
O bitterly belov’d! and all her gain
Is but the pang of unpermitted prayer.


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