Double Existence by Mary Victoria Novello Cowden Clarke

Two lives are lived by many a living soul,
An outer and an inner life: the one,
In sympathy with friends, in open tone
Expressed, and frankly patent to the whole
Community ‘midst whom our days do roll
Their course. The other, secret, mute, alone
With God and our own thoughts, laid bare and prone
Before His eye—their judge and witness sole.
A crowd of musings, hopes, high aspirations,
Of penitential tears, sharp agonies,
Of earnest strivings, conscious aberrations,
We pass among and through without surmise
By those who, from our cradle to our grave
Can mark how staidly, calmly, we behave.

From: Clarke Cowden, Mary, Honey from the Weed: Verses, 1881, C. Kegan Paul & Co.: London, p. 330.

Date: 1881

By: Mary Victoria Novello Cowden Clarke (1809-1898)

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