Verse > Anthologies > Andrew Macphail, ed. > The Book of Sorrow
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Andrew Macphail, comp.  The Book of Sorrow.  1916.
 
XXVII. Vain Longing
The One Hope
By Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828–1882)
 
WHEN vain desire at last and vain regret
  Go hand in hand to death, and all is vain,
  What shall assuage the unforgotten pain
And teach the unforgetful to forget?
Shall Peace be still a sunk stream long unmet,—        5
  Or may the soul at once in a green plain
  Stoop through the spray of some sweet life-fountain
And cull the dew-drenched flowering amulet?
 
Ah! when the wan soul in that golden air
  Between the scriptured petals softly blown        10
  Peers breathless for the gift of grace unknown,—
Ah! let none other alien spell soe’er
But only the one Hope’s one name be there,—
  Not less nor more, but even that word alone.
 
 
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