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 Oakes Smith (1806–1893)
THE THOUGHTS which in this aching bosom dwell,
  And weigh it with a sad, desponding weight,—
  Like ship unbuoyant with her heavy freight,
Whose ploughing hull retards the pressing swell
Of homeward-urging sail,—within their cell,        5
  Nameless and wordless, struggle with their fate
  And yield but one deep plain,—too late! too late!
Then falter into silence. It is well!
Ah, could our lips embody all the grace
  And garnered beauty of the inmost soul,        10
Earth were no more a blank, impeding place,
  But, loosed from bonds perpetual, hymns would roll.
Thou God! most good, in each our lips to bind;—
For what were earth, did all our woe expression find!

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