Remember me when I am gone away,
Gone far away into the silent land;
When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day
You tell me of our future that you planned:
Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
For if the darkness and corruption leave
A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad.
In an Artist's Studio
One face looks out from all his canvasses,
One selfsame figure sits or walks or leans;
We found her hidden just behind those screens,
That mirror gave back all her loveliness.
A queen in opal or in ruby dress,
A nameless girl in freshest summer greens,
A saint, an angel; - every canvass means
The same one meaning, neither more nor less.
He feeds upon her face by day and night,
And she with true kind eyes looks back on him
Fair as the moon and joyful as the light:
Not wan with waiting, not with sorrow dim;
Not as she is, but was when hope shone bright;
Not as she is, but as she fills his dream.
- Elizabeth Barrett Browning, 1850
I have a smiling face, she said,
I have a jest for all I meet,
I have a garland for my head
And all its flowers are sweet, -
And so you call me gay, she said.
Grief taught to me this smile, she said,
And Wrong did teach this jesting bold;
These flowers were picked from gardenbed
While a death-chime was tolled;
And what now will you say? - she said.
Behind no prison gate, she said
Which slurs the sunshine half a mile,
Live captives so uncomforted
As souls behind a smile.
God's pity let us pray, she said.
I know my face is bright, she said, -
Such brightness dying suns diffuse:
I bear upon my forehead shed
The sign of what I lose,
The ending of my day, she said.
If I dared leave this smile, she said,
And take a moan upon my mouth,
And tie a cypress round my head,
And let my tears run smooth,
It were the better way, she said.
And since that must not be, she said,
I fain your bitter world would leave.
How calmly, calmly smile the dead,
Who do not, therefore, grieve!
The yea of Heaven is yea, she said.
But in your bitter world, she said,
Face-joy's a costly mask to wear;
'Tis bought with pangs long nouished,
And rounded to despair:
Grief's earnest makes life's play, she said.
Ye weep for those who weep? she said -
Ah, fools! I bid you pass them by.
Go, weep for those whose hearts have bled
What time their eyes were dry.
Whom sadder can I say? she said
My Heart and I
by Elizabeth Barret Browning
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 a mason's knife,
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 dealth with books, we trusted men,
And in our own blood drenched the pen,
As if such colours 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!
We seem of no use in the world;
Our fancies hang grey and uncurled
About men's eyes indifferently;
Our voice which thrilled you so, will let
You sleep; our tears are only wet;
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.
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 in his arm
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.
Tired out we are, my heart and I!
Suppose the world brought us diadems
To tempt us, crusted with loose gems
Of powers and pleasures? Let it try.
We scarcely care to look at even
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:
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.
End, Middle, Beginning
There was an unwanted child.
Aborted by three modern methods
she hung on to the womb,
hooked onto I
building her house into it
and it was to no avail,
to black her out.
At her birth
she did not cry,
but did not yell--
instead snow fell out of her mouth.
As she grew, year by year,
her hair turned like a rose in a vase,
and bled down her face.
Rocks were placed on her to keep
the growing silent,
and though they bruised,
they did not kill,
though kill was tangled into her beginning.
They locked her in a football
but she merely curled up
and pretended it was a warm doll's house.
They pushed insects in to bite her off
and she let them crawl into her eyes
pretending they were a puppet show.
grown fully, as they say,
they gave her a ring,
and she wore it like a root
ans said to herself,
"To be not loved is the human condition,"
and lay like a stature in her bed.
by terrible chance,
love took her in his big boat
and she shoveled the ocean
in a scalding joy.
love seeped away,
the boat turned into paper
and she knew her fate,
Turn where you belong,
into a deaf mute
that metal house,
let him drill you into no one.
More Than Myself
Not that it was beautiful,
but that, in the end, there was
a certain sense of order there;
something worth learning
in that narrow diary of my mind,
in the commonplaces of the asylum
where the cracked mirror
or my own selfish death
outstared me . . .
I tapped my own head;
it was glass, an inverted bowl.
It's small thing
to rage inside your own bowl.
At first it was private.
Then it was more than myself
Because I Could Not Stop For Death
Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me;
The carriage held but just ourselves
We slowly drove, he knew no haste,
And I had put away
My labour, and my leisure too,
For his civility.
We passed the school where children played,
Their lessons scarcely done;
We passed the fields of gazing grain,
We passed the setting sun.
We paused before a house that seemed
A swelling of the ground;
The roof was scarcely visible,
The cornice but a mound.
Since then 'tis centuries; but each
Feels shorter than the day
I first surmised the horses' heads
Were toward eternity
I Felt A Funeral In My Brain
I felt a funeral in my brain,
And mourners, to and fro,
Kept treading, treading, till it seemed
That sense was breaking through.
And when they all were seated,
A service like a drum
Kept beating, beating, till I thought
My mind was going numb.
And then I heard them lift a box,
And creak across my soul
With those same boots of lead, again.
Then space began to toll
As all the heavens were a bell,
And Being but an ear,
And I and silence some strange race,
Wrecked, solitary, here.
The Soul Unto Itself
The soul unto itself
Is an imperial friend, --
Or the most agonizing spy
An enemy could send.
Secure against its own,
No treason it can fear;
Itself its sovereign, of itself
The soul should stand in awe
The Lost Thought
I FELT a clearing in my mind
As if my brain had split;
I tried to match it, seam by seam,
But could not make them fit.
The thought behind I strove to join
Unto the thought before,
But sequence ravelled out of reach
Like balls upon a floor.
Famous Works Of: Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Emily Dickinson and