Lucy Larcom (1826-1893)

return to sonnet central return to the Victorian period

"They Said"

They said of her, "She never can have felt
The sorrows that our deeper natures feel":
They said, "Her placid lips have never spelt
Hard lessons taught by Pain; her eyes reveal
No passionate yearning, no perplexed appeal
To other eyes. Love and her heart have dealt
With her but lightly."--When the Pilgrims dwelt
First on these shores, lest savage hands should steal
To precious graves with desecrating tread,
The burial-field was with the ploughshare crossed
And there the maize her silken tresses tossed.
With thanks those Pilgrims ate their bitter bread,
While peaceful harvests hid what they had lost.
--What if her smiles concealed from you her dead?

(Text from The Book of Sorrow)