Verse > Anthologies > Hunt and Lee, eds. > The Book of the Sonnet
Hunt and Lee, comps.  The Book of the Sonnet.  1867.
IV. Desolation
By Henry Theodore Tuckerman (1813–1871)
THINK ye the desolate must live apart,
  By solemn vows to convent-walls confined?
Ah! no; with men may dwell the cloistered heart,
  And in a crowd the isolated mind:
Tearless behind the prison-bars of fate,        5
  The world sees not how desolate they stand,
Gazing so fondly through the iron grate
  Upon the promised yet forbidden land;
Patience, the shrine to which their bleeding feet
  Day after day in voiceless penance turn;        10
Silence, the holy cell and calm retreat,
  In which unseen their meek devotions burn:
Life is to them a vigil, which none share,
Their hopes a sacrifice, their love a prayer.

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