Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. IV. The Higher Life
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume IV. The Higher Life.  1904.
 
VI. Human Experience
Patience
Paul Hamilton Hayne (1830–1886)
 
SHE hath no beauty in her face
  Unless the chastened sweetness there,
And meek long-suffering, yield a grace
  To make her mournful features fair:—
 
Shunned by the gay, the proud, the young,        5
  She roams through dim, unsheltered ways;
Nor lover’s vow, nor flatterer’s tongue
  Brings music to her sombre days:—
 
At best her skies are clouded o’er,
  And oft she fronts the stinging sleet,        10
Or feels on some tempestuous shore
  The storm-waves lash her naked feet.
 
Where’er she strays, or musing stands
  By lonesome beach, by turbulent mart,
We see her pale, half-tremulous hands        15
  Crossed humbly o’er her aching heart!
 
Within, a secret pain she bears,—
  pain too deep to feel the balm
An April spirit finds in tears;
  Alas! all cureless griefs are calm!        20
 
Yet in her passionate strength supreme,
  Despair beyond her pathway flies,
Awed by the softly steadfast beam
  Of sad, but heaven-enamored eyes!
 
Who pause to greet her, vaguely seem        25
  Touched by fine wafts of holier air;
As those who in some mystic dream
  Talk with the angels unaware!
 
 
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