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Littell's Living Age/Volume 151/Issue 1952/"The Irresponsive Land"

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<poem>

The irresponsive silence of the land,

    The irresponsive soundings 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 teach thy heart? what hand thy hand? — And I am sometimes proud and sometimes meek,

    And sometimes I remember days of old,

When fellowship seemed not so far to seek,

    And all the world and I seemed much less cold,
    And at the rainbow's foot lay surely gold,

And hope felt strong, and life itself not weak.