Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, SURPRISE, by EMMA LAZARUS



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SURPRISE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: When the stunned soul can first lift tired eyes
Last Line: All else is but the shadow of a dream.


When the stunned soul can first lift tired eyes
On her changed world of ruin, waste and wrack,
Ah, what a pang of aching sharp surprise
Brings all sweet memories of the lost past back,
With wild self-pitying grief of one betrayed,
Duped in a land of dreams where Truth is dead!
Are these the heavens that she deemed were kind?
Is this the world that yesterday was fair?
What painted images of folk half-blind
Be these who pass her by, as vague as air?
What go they seeking? there is naught to find.
Let them come nigh and hearken her despair.
A mocking lie is all she once believed,
And where her heart throbbed, is a cold dead stone.
This is a doom she never preconceived,
Yet now she cannot fancy it undone.
Part of herself, part of the whole hard scheme,
All else is but the shadow of a dream.





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