An Apprehension

by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

If all the gentlest-hearted friends I know
Concentred in one heart their gentleness,
That still grew gentler, till its pulse was less
For life than pity, -- I should yet be slow
To bring my own heart nakedly below
The palm of such a friend, that he should press
Motive, condition, means, appliances,
My false ideal joy and fickle wo,
Out full to light and knowledge. I should fear
Some plait between the brows -- some rougher chime
In the free voice ... O angels, let the flood
Of bitter scorn dash on me! Do ye hear
What I say, who bear camly all the time
This everlasting face-to-face with GOD?


The Poems Of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Volume 1
Copyright 1853
C. S. Francis & Co., 262 Broadway, New York
Crosby & Nichols, Boston

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