Stops of Various Quills/Sympathy

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Howells, Stops of Various Quills, 1895 045 large a.jpg





SYMPATHY


FRIEND, neighbor, stranger,
as the case may be,
You who are sitting in the
stall next me,
And listening also to this pitiless
play
That says for me all that I would
not say,
And follows me, however I wind
about,
And seems to turn my whole life
inside out:
I wonder, should I speak and be
the first
To own just where in my soul it
hurt worst,
And you revealed in yours the spot
its flame
Scorched fiercest, if it might not be
the same.