IF all the gentlest-hearted friends I know
Concentred in one heart their gentleness,
That still grew gentler till its pulse was less
For life than pity,--I should yet be slow
To bring my own heart nakedly below
The palm of such a friend, that he should press
Motive, condition, means, appliances,
My false ideal joy and fickle woe,
Out full to light and knowledge; I should fear
Some plait between the brows, some rougher chime
In the free voice.
O angels, let your flood
Of bitter scorn dash on me ! do ye hear
What I say who hear calmly all the time
This everlasting face to face with GOD ?
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
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