Oliver Madox Brown (1855-1874)

return to sonnet central return to the Victorian period


No more these passion-worn faces shall men's eyes
Behold in life. Death leaves no trace behind
Of their wild hate and wilder love, grown blind
In desperate longing, more than the foam which lies
Splashed up awhile where the showered spray descries
The waves whereto their cold limbs were resign'd;
Yet ever doth the sea-wind's undefin'd
Vague wailing shudder with their dying sighs.
For all men's souls 'twixt sorrow and love are cast
As on the earth each lingers his brief space,
While surely nightfall comes where each man's face
In death's obliteration sinks at last
As a deserted wind-tossed sea's foam-trace--
Life's chilled boughs emptied by death's autumn-blast.

(Text from The Book of Sorrow)