I LEFT thee last, a child at heart,
by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
A woman scarce in years:
I come to thee, a solemn corpse
Which neither feels nor fears.
I have no breath to use in sighs;
They laid the dead-weights on mine eyes
To seal them safe from tears.
Look on me with thine own calm look:
I meet it calm as thou.
No look of thine can change this smile,
Or break thy sinful vow:
I tell thee that my poor scorn'd heart
Is of thine earth--thine earth--a part:
It cannot vex thee now.
I have pray'd for thee with bursting sob
When passion's course was free;
I have pray'd for thee with silent lips
In the anguish none could see;
They whisper'd oft, 'She sleepeth soft'--
But I only pray'd for thee.
Go to! I pray for thee no more:
The corpse's tongue is still;
Its folded fingers point to heaven,
But point there stiff and chill:
No farther wrong, no farther woe
Hath licence from the sin below
Its tranquil heart to thrill.
I charge thee, by the living's prayer,
And the dead's silentness,
To wring from out thy soul a cry
Which God shall hear and bless!
Lest Heaven's own palm droop in my hand,
And pale among the saints I stand,
A saint companionless.