We overstate the ills of life, and take
    Imagination (given us to bring down
    The choirs of singing angels overshone
    By God's clear glory) down our earth to rake
    The dismal snows instead, flake following flake,
    To cover all the corn; we walk upon
    The shadow of hills across a level thrown,
    And pant like climbers: near the alder brake
    We sigh so loud, the nightingale within
    Refuses to sing loud, as else she would.
    O brothers, let us leave the shame and sin
    Of taking vainly, in a plaintive mood,
    The holy name of grief! holy herein
    That by the grief of one came all our good.


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Return to the Elizabeth Barrett Browning library , or . . . Read the next poem; From ‘The Soul’s Travelling’

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