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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

Christina Georgina Rossetti 1830–94

The Thread of Life


THE IRRESPONSIVE silence of the land,

The irresponsive sounding of the sea,

Speak both one message of one sense to me:—

Aloof, aloof, we stand aloof, so stand

Thou too aloof, bound with the flawless band

Of inner solitude; we bind not thee;

But who from thy self-chain shall set thee free?

What heart shall touch thy heart? what hand?—

And I am sometimes proud and sometimes meek,

And some times I remember days of old

When fellowship seem’d not so far to seek

And all the world and I seem’d much less cold,

And at the rainbow’s foot lay surely gold,

And hope felt strong and life itself not weak.