Verse > Anthologies > Andrew Macphail, ed. > The Book of Sorrow
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Andrew Macphail, comp.  The Book of Sorrow.  1916.
 
XXV. Bitter Remembrance
Agonia
By John Ruskin (1819–1900)
 
WHEN our delight is desolate,
  And hope is overthrown;
And when the heart must bear the weight
  Of its own love alone;
 
And when the soul, whose thoughts are deep,        5
  Must guard them unrevealed,
And feel that it is full, but keep
  That fullness calm and sealed;
 
When Love’s long glance is dark with pain—
  With none to meet or cheer;        10
And words of woe are wild in vain
  For those who cannot hear;
 
When earth is dark, and memory
  Pale in the heaven above,
The heart can bear to lose its joy,        15
  But not to cease to love.
 
But what shall guide the choice within,
  Of guilt or agony,—
When to remember is to sin,
  And to forget—to die?        20
 
 
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