Richard Chenevix Trench

1807 - 1886 / Ireland

Sonnet 05

When hearts are full of yearning tenderness,
For the loved absent, whom we can not reach --
By deed or token, gesture or kind speech,
The spirit's true affection to express;
When hearts are full of innermost distress,
And we are doomed to stand inactive by,
Watching the soul's or body's agony,
Which human effort helps not to make less --
Then like a cup capacious to contain
The overflowings of the heart, is prayer:
The longing of the souls is satisfied,
The keenest darts of anguish blunted are;
And, though we can not cease to yearn or grieve,
Yet we have learned in patience to abide.
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