Verse > Anthologies > Andrew Macphail, ed. > The Book of Sorrow
Andrew Macphail, comp.  The Book of Sorrow.  1916.
XXIII. Grief
From ‘Sonnets in Shadow’
By Arlo Bates (1850–1918)
EVER for consolation grief is told
  How worse might be, and woe be heaped on woe,—
  As if the present pain were softened so,
Made less by fancied evils manifold.
Would the impoverished diver be consoled,        5
  When from his hand the pearl, like melting snow,
  Slips to plunge darkling in the tide below,
That the void shell has not escaped his hold?
When love has from our longing arms been torn,
  What boots it if the empty world we grasp?        10
To those who this supreme bereavement mourn
It little matters what woe follows fast!
  The worst that fate can do already borne,
The very meaning of such dread is past.

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