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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

The Prospect

By Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806–1861)

METHINKS we do as fretful children do,

Leaning their faces on the window-pane

To sigh the glass dim with their own breath’s stain,

And shut the sky and landscape from their view;

And thus, alas! since God the maker drew

A mystic separation ’twixt those twain,—

The life beyond us and our souls in pain,—

We miss the prospect which we are called unto

By grief we are fools to use. Be still and strong,

O man, my brother! hold thy sobbing breath,

And keep thy soul’s large window pure from wrong;

That so, as life’s appointment issueth,

Thy vision may be clear to watch along

The sunset consummation-lights of death.