‘My Heart and I’ By EBB (for Aoife)

RIP Aoife O Brien ( June 23rd 1970-May 1st 2010)


“Enough! we’re tired my heart and I.
We sit beside the headstone thus,
And wish that the 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
with which we are tired, my heart and I.


You see we’re tired, my heart and I.
We dealt with books, we trusted men,
And in our own blood drenched the
As if such colours could not fly.
We walked too straight for fortune’s
We loved too true to keep a friend;
At last we’re tired, my heart and I.


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 eye’s indifferently;
Our voice which thrilled you so, will
You sleep; our tears are only wet:
What do we do here, my heart and I ?


So tired, so tired, my heart and I !
It was not thus in that old time
When Ralph sate with me ‘neath the
To watch the sun set from the sky.
‘dear love you are looking tired’, he
I, smiling at him, shook my head:
‘Tis now we’re tired, my heart and I.


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 langour. Now alone,
We lean upon this graveyard stone,
Uncheered, unkissed, my heart and I.


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.


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
I think, we’ve fared, my heart and I. ”


Aoife O Brien, June 23rd 1970- May 1st 2010

2 responses to “‘My Heart and I’ By EBB (for Aoife)”

  1. wow, i didn’t guess it right in the beginning, that this poem is by elizabeth barrett browning. all i thought was, this poem is a modern poem flavored in a victorian era language. voila! it is so.

    thanks for sharing this, worthy revival of english classics.


    • I seem to be making blog problems at the moment !

      In response , the attribution is on the title (EBB)
      and at the end of the poem- its a transcription
      that I made (years ago) from a private library.

      I wrote on this library before, the house in which
      it lives is without most modern conveniences and the
      weather can be appalling – so I decided to transcribe
      poems from old volumes and see how many I got
      correct = There were always spelling mistakes.

      The blog re-furbishment is driving me doolally


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