788. Aloof

Christina Georgina Rossetti. 1830-1894

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 thee 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'd much less cold,
  And at the rainbow's foot lay surely gold,
And hope felt strong, and life itself not weak.

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