Elizabeth Barrett Browning

(6 March 1806 – 29 June 1861 / Durham / England)

Sonnet IV


Thou hast thy calling to some palace-floor,
Most gracious singer of high poems ! where
The dancers will break footing, from the care
Of watching up thy pregnant lips for more.
And dost thou lift this house's latch too poor
For hand of thine ? and canst thou think and bear
To let thy music drop here unaware
In folds of golden fulness at my door ?
Look up and see the casement broken in,
The bats and owlets builders in the roof !
My cricket chirps against thy mandolin.
Hush, call no echo up in further proof
Of desolation ! there 's a voice within
That weeps . . . as thou must sing . . . alone, aloof

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

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