Verse > Anthologies > Hunt and Lee, eds. > The Book of the Sonnet
Hunt and Lee, comps.  The Book of the Sonnet.  1867.
II. Tears
By Mrs. Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806–1861)
THANK God, bless God, all ye who suffer not
More grief than ye can weep for. That is well,—
That is light grieving! lighter, none befell,
Since Adam forfeited the primal lot.
Tears! what are tears? The babe weeps in its cot,        5
The mother singing; at her marriage-bell,
The bride weeps; and before the oracle
Of high-faned hills, the poet hath forgot
That moisture on his cheeks. Thank God for grace,
Whoever weep; albeit, as some have done,        10
Ye grope tear-blinded, in a desert place,
And touch but tombs,—look up! Those tears will run
Soon, in long rivers, down the lifted face,
And leave the vision clear for stars and sun.

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