Verse > Anthologies > J. C. Squire, ed. > A Book of Women’s Verse
J. C. Squire, ed.  A Book of Women’s Verse.  1921.
Sonnet: “The irresponsive silence of the land”
By Christina Rossetti (1830–1894)
THE IRRESPONSIVE silence of the land,
  The irresponsive sounding of the sea,
  Speak both one message of one sense to me:—
‘Aloof, aloof, we stand aloof; so stand
Thou too aloof bound with the flawless band        5
  Of inner solitude; we bind not thee;
  But who from thy self-chain shall set thee free?
What heart shall touch thy heart? what hand thy hand?’
And I am sometimes proud and sometimes meek,
  And sometimes I remember days of old        10
When fellowship seemed not so far to seek
  And all the world and I seemed much less cold,
  And at the rainbow’s foot lay surely gold,
And hope felt strong and life itself not weak.

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