Elizabeth Barrett Browning




The Soul’s Expression

With stammering lips and insufficient 
           sound
I strive and struggle to deliver right
That music of my nature, day and night
With dream and thought and feeling inter-
           wound
And inly answering all the senses round
With octaves of a mystic depth and height
Which step out grandly to the infinite
From the dark edges of the sensual 
           ground.
This song of soul I struggle to outbear
Through portals of the sense, sublime and 
           whole,
And utter all myself into the air:
But if I did it,—as the thunder-roll
Breaks its own cloud, my flesh would perish there,
Before that dread apocalypse of soul.


spoken = Genevieve Perdue