Grief by EB Browning


Elizabeth Barrett Browning

I tell you, hopeless grief is passionless—

That only men incredulous of despair,

Half-taught in anguish, through the midnight air,

Beat upward to God’s throne in loud access

Of shrieking and reproach. Full desertness

In souls, as countries, lieth silent-bare

Under the blenching, vertical eye-glare

Of the absolute Heavens. Deep-hearted man, express

Grief for thy Dead in silence like to death;

Most like a monumental statue set

In everlasting watch and moveless woe,

Till itself crumble to the dust beneath!

Touch it! the marble eyelids are not wet—

If it could weep, it could arise and go.


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