Sonnets from the Portuguese


Elizabeth Barrett Browning


I thought once how Theocritus had sung
But only three in all God's universe
Unlike are we, unlike, O princely Heart!
Thou hast thy calling to some palace-floor
I lift my heavy heart up solemnly
Go from me. Yet I feel that I shall stand
The face of all the world is changed, I think
What can I give thee back, O liberal
Can it be right to give what I can give?
Yet, love, mere love, is beautiful indeed
And therefore if to love can be desert
Indeed this very love which is my boast
And wilt thou have me fashion into speech
If thou must love me, let it be for nought
Accuse me not, beseech thee, that I wear
And yet, because thou overcomest so
My poet, thou canst touch on all the notes
I never gave a lock of hair away
The soul's Rialto hath its merchandize
Beloved, my Beloved, when I think
Say over again, and yet once over again
When our two souls stand up erect and strong
Is it indeed so? If I lay here dead
Let the world's sharpness like a clasping knife
A heavy heart, Beloved, have I borne
I lived with visions for my company
My own Beloved, who hast lifted me
My letters! all dead paper, mute and white!
I think of thee!—my thoughts do twine and bud
I see thine image through my tears to-night
Thou comest! all is said without a word.
The first time that the sun rose on thine oath
Yes, call me by my pet-name! let me hear
With the same heart, I said, I'll answer thee
If I leave all for thee, wilt thou exchange
When we met first and loved, I did not build
Pardon, oh, pardon, that my soul should make
First time he kissed me, he but only kissed
Because thou hast the power and own'st the grace
Oh, yes! they love through all this world of ours!
I thank all who have loved me in their hearts
My future will not copy fair my past
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
Beloved, thou hast brought me many flowers
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