Aloof


The irresponsive silence of the land,
The irresponsive sounding of the sea,
Speak both one message of one sense to me:
Aloof. Aloof, we stand aloof, so stand
Thou too aloof, bound with the flawless band
Of inner solitude; we bind not thee;
But who from thy self-chain shall set the free?
What heart shall touch thy heart? What hand thy hand?
And I am sometimes proud and sometimes meek,
And sometimes I remember days of old
When fellowship seem'd not so far to seek,
And all the world and I seem's much less cold,
And at the rainbow's foot lay surely gold,
And hope felt strong, and life itself not weak.

Christina Georgina Rossett, 1830-1894

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