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Rosalinds Scroll

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Written by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

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I LEFT thee last a child at heart  
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; 5 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 10 Or break thy sinful vow: I tell thee that my poor scorn'd heart Is of thine earth¡ªthine earth¡ªa part: It cannot vex thee now.
I have pray'd for thee with bursting sob 15 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'¡ª But I only pray'd for thee.
20 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 25 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 30 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.


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