Reference > Anthologies > Warner, et al., eds. > The Library > Verse

C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
My Heart and I
By Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806–1861)
ENOUGH! we’re tired, my heart and I.
  We sit beside the headstone thus,
  And wish that name were carved for us.
The moss reprints more tenderly
  The hard types of the mason’s knife,        5
  As heaven’s sweet life renews earth’s life
With which we’re tired, my heart and I.
You see we’re tired, my heart and I.
  We dealt with books, we trusted men,
  And in our own blood drenched the pen,        10
As if such colors could not fly.
  We walked too straight for fortune’s end,
  We loved too true to keep a friend:
At last we’re tired, my heart and I.
How tired we feel, my heart and I!        15
  We seem of no use in the world;
  Our fancies hang gray and uncurled
About men’s eyes indifferently;
  Our voice, which thrilled you so, will let
  You sleep; our tears are only wet:        20
What do we here, my heart and I?
So tired, so tired, my heart and I!
  It was not thus in that old time
  When Ralph sat with me ’neath the lime
To watch the sunset from the sky.        25
  “Dear love, you’re looking tired,” he said;
  I, smiling at him, shook my head:
’Tis now we’re tired, my heart and I.
So tired, so tired, my heart and I!
  Though now none takes me on his arm        30
  To fold me close and kiss me warm
Till each quick breath end in a sigh
  Of happy languor. Now, alone,
  We lean upon this graveyard stone,
Uncheered, unkissed, my heart and I.        35
Tired out we are, my heart and I.
  Suppose the world brought diadems
  To tempt us, crusted with loose gems
Of powers and pleasures? Let it try.
  We scarcely care to look at even        40
  A pretty child, or God’s blue heaven,
We feel so tired, my heart and I.
Yet who complains? My heart and I?
  In this abundant earth, no doubt,
  Is little room for things worn out:        45
Disdain them, break them, throw them by!
  And if, before the days grew rough,
  We once were loved, used,—well enough
I think we’ve fared, my heart and I.

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