Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Sonnets from the Portuguese


I THOUGHT once how Theocritus had sung
    Of the sweet years, the dear and wish'd-for years,
    Who each one in a gracious hand appears
To bear a gift for mortals old or young:
And, as I mused it in his antique tongue,
    I saw in gradual vision through my tears
    The sweet, sad years, the melancholy years—
Those of my own life, who by turns had flung
A shadow across me. Straightway I was 'ware,
    So weeping, how a mystic Shape did move
Behind me, and drew me backward by the hair;
    And a voice said in mastery, while I strove,
'Guess now who holds thee?'—'Death,' I said. But there
    The silver answer rang—'Not Death, but Love.'

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About the poet
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
By the same poet
Rosalind's Scroll
The Deserted Garden
Sonnets from the Portuguese (ii)
Sonnets from the Portuguese (iii)
Sonnets from the Portuguese (iv)
Sonnets from the Portuguese (v)
A Musical Instrument
Related books
Elizabeth Barrett Browning at amazon.com

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