Dirge: Written November 1808

Original Text: 
The Works of Anna Lætitia Barbauld, Volume I (London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, Brown, and Green, Paternoster-Row, 1825), pp. 224-25. PR 4057 B7 1825 v.1 Robarts Library.
2     O whisper to my soul!
3O let some soothing thought of thee,
4     The bitter grief control!
5'Tis not for thee the tears I shed,
6     Thy sufferings now are o'er;
7The sea is calm, the tempest past,
8     On that eternal shore.
9No more the storms that wrecked thy peace
10     Shall tear that gentle breast;
11Nor Summer's rage, nor Winter's cold,
12     Thy poor, poor frame molest.
13Thy peace is sealed, thy rest is sure,
14     My sorrows are to come;
15Awhile I weep and linger here,
16     Then follow to the tomb.
17And is the awful veil withdrawn,
18     That shrouds from mortal eyes,
19In deep impenetrable gloom,
20     The secrets of the skies?
21O, in some dream of visioned bliss,
22     Some trance of rapture, show
23Where, on the bosom of thy God,
24     Thou rest'st from human woe!
25Thence may thy pure devotion's flame
26     On me, on me descend;
27To me thy strong aspiring hopes,
28     They faith, thy fervours lend.
29Let these my lonely path illume,
30     And teach my weakened mind
31To welcome all that's left of good,
32     To all that's lost resigned.
33Farewell! With honour, peace, and love,
34     Be thy dear memory blest!
35Thou hast no tears for me to shed,
36     When I too am at rest.


1] On the suicide of her mentally ill husband Rochemont, having been institutionized for violent behaviour to Anna. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 1998.