Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. IV. Wordsworth to Rossetti
Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. IV. The Nineteenth Century: Wordsworth to Rossetti
The Three Marys at Castle Howard, in 1812 and 1837
By Ebenezer Elliott (1781–1849)
THE LIFELESS son—the mother’s agony,
O’erstrained till agony refused to feel—
That sinner too I then dry-eyed could see;
For I was hardened in my selfish weal,
And strength and joy had strung my soul with steel.        5
I knew not then what man may live to be,
A thing of life, that feels he lives in vain—
A taper, to be quenched in misery!
Forgive me, then, Caracci! if I seek
To look on this, thy tale of tears, again;        10
For now the swift is slow, the strong is weak.
Mother of Christ! how merciful is pain!
But if I longer view thy tear-stained cheek,
Heart-broken Magdalen! my heart will break.

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