Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE EXILE'S RETURN, by ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE EXILE'S RETURN, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: When from thee, weeping I removed
Last Line: Still shared by thee.
Subject(s): Reunions; Exile


WHEN from thee, weeping I removed,
And from my land for years,
I thought not to return, Beloved,
With those same parting tears.
I come again to hill and lea,
Weeping for thee.


I clasped thine hand when standing last
Upon the shore in sight.
The land is green, the ship is fast,
I shall be there to-night.
I shall be there -- no longer we --
No more with thee!


Had I beheld thee dead and still,
I might more clearly know
How heart of thine could turn as chill
As hearts by nature so;
How change could touch the falsehood-free
And changeless thee.


But, now thy fervid looks last-seen
Within my soul remain,
'T is hard to think that they have been,
To be no more again --
That I shall vainly wait, ah me!
A word from thee.


I could not bear to look upon
That mound of funeral clay
Where one sweet voice is silence -- one
Ethereal brow, decay;
Where all thy mortal I may see,
But never thee.


For thou art where all friends are gone
Whose parting pain is o'er;
And I, who love and weep alone,
Where thou wilt weep no more,
Weep bitterly and selfishly
For me, not thee.


I know, Beloved, thou canst not know
That I endure this pain;
For saints in heaven, the Scriptures show,
Can never grieve again:
And grief known mine, even there, would be
Still shared by thee.

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