Verse > Anthologies > Hunt and Lee, eds. > The Book of the Sonnet
Hunt and Lee, comps.  The Book of the Sonnet.  1867.
I. Expressionless
By Mrs. Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806–1861)
WITH stammering lips and insufficient sound,
  I strive and struggle to deliver right
  That music of my nature, day and night,
  With dream and thought and feeling, interwound,
And inly answering all the senses round        5
  With octaves of a mystic depth and height,
  Which step out grandly to the infinite
  From the dark edges of the sensual ground!
This song of soul I struggle to outbear
  Through portals of the sense, sublime and whole,        10
  And utter all myself into the air;
But if I did it,—as the thunder-roll
  Breaks its own cloud,—my flesh would perish there,
  Before that dread apocalypse of soul!

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