February 14

Red hearts are made of crochet, paper, and candy; cakes overflow with cherries and all manner of yearning shapes strings of lights or patterns of stars to sooth the lovelorn. Here is Elizabeth Barrett Browning expounding her soul.


My Heart and I BY ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING I. ENOUGH ! we're tired, my heart and I. We sit beside the headstone thus, And wish that name were carved for us. The moss reprints more tenderly The hard types of the mason's knife, As heaven's sweet life renews earth's life With which we're tired, my heart and I.

II. You see we're tired, my heart and I. We dealt with books, we trusted men, And in our own blood drenched the pen, As if such colours could not fly. We walked too straight for fortune's end, We loved too true to keep a friend; At last we're tired, my heart and I. III. How tired we feel, my heart and I ! We seem of no use in the world ; Our fancies hang grey and uncurled About men's eyes indifferently ; Our voice which thrilled you so, will let You sleep; our tears are only wet : What do we here, my heart and I ? IV. So tired, so tired, my heart and I ! It was not thus in that old time When Ralph sat with me 'neath the lime To watch the sunset from the sky. Dear love, you're looking tired,' he said; I, smiling at him, shook my head : 'Tis now we're tired, my heart and I. V. So tired, so tired, my heart and I ! Though now none takes me on his arm To fold me close and kiss me warm Till each quick breath end in a sigh Of happy languor. Now, alone, We lean upon this graveyard stone, Uncheered, unkissed, my heart and I. VI. Tired out we are, my heart and I. Suppose the world brought diadems To tempt us, crusted with loose gems Of powers and pleasures ? Let it try. We scarcely care to look at even A pretty child, or God's blue heaven, We feel so tired, my heart and I. VII. Yet who complains ? My heart and I ? In this abundant earth no doubt Is little room for things worn out : Disdain them, break them, throw them by And if before the days grew rough We once were loved, used, — well enough, I think, we've fared, my heart and I.



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