From ‘the Soul’s Travelling’
by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
With a child’s voice I cry,
Weak, sad, confidingly—
Thou knowest, eyelids, raised not always up
Unto Thy love (as none of ours are), droop
As ours, o’er many a tear!
Thou knowest, though Thy universe is broad,
Two little tears suffice to cover all:
Thou knowest, Thou, who art so prodigal
Of beauty, we are oft but stricken deer
Expiring in the woods—that care for none
Of those delightsome flowers they die upon.
O blissful Mouth which breathed the mournful breath
We name our souls, self-spoilt!—by that strong passion
Which paled Thee once with sighs,—by that strong death
Which made Thee once unbreathing—from the wrack
Themselves have called around them, call them back,
Back to Thee in continuous aspiration!
For here, O Lord,
For here they travel vainly,—vainly pass
From city-pavement to untrodden sward,
Where the lark finds her deep nest in the grass
Cold with the earth’s last dew. Yea, very vain
The greatest speed of all these souls of men
Unless they travel upward to the throne
Where sittest THOU, the satisfying ONE,
With help for sins and holy perfectings
For all requirements—while the archangel, raising
Unto Thy face his full ecstatic gazing,
Forgets the rush and rapture of his wings.