Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, VANITIES, by ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING



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VANITIES, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Could ye be very blest in hearkening
Last Line: It is in vain, it is in vain!'
Subject(s): Vanity; Passion


COULD ye be very blest in hearkening
Youth's often danced-to melodies --
Hearing it piped, the midnight darkening
Doth come to show the starry skies, --
To freshen garden-flowers, the rain? --
It is in vain, it is in vain!

Could ye be very blest in urging
A captive nation's strength to thunder
Out into foam, and with its surging
The Xerxean fetters break asunder?
The storm is cruel as the chain! --
It is in vain, it is in vain!

Could ye be very blest in paling
Your brows with studious nights and days,
When like your lamps your life is failing,
And sighs, not breath, are wrought from praise?
Your tombs, not ye, that praise retain --
It is in vain, it is in vain!

Yea! but ye could be very blest,
If some ye nearest love were nearest!
Must they not love when loved best?
Must ye not happiest love when dearest?
Alas! how hard to feel again, --
It is in vain, it is in vain!

For those ye love are not unsighing --
They are unchanging least of all:
And ye the loved -- ah! no denying,
Will leave your lips beneath the pall,
When passioned ones have o'er it sain
'It is in vain, it is in vain!'





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