Sonnets from the Portuguese: I

Original Text: 
A Selection from the Poetry of Elizabeth Barrett Browning. First Series. New Edition. London: Smith, Elder, & Co., 1886. 1: 181-202.
2Of the sweet years, the dear and wished-for years,
3Who each one in a gracious hand appears
4To bear a gift for mortals, old or young:
5And, as I mused it in his antique tongue,
6I saw, in gradual vision through my tears,
7The sweet, sad years, the melancholy years,
8Those of my own life, who by turns had flung
9A shadow across me. Straightway I was 'ware,
10So weeping, how a mystic Shape did move
11Behind me, and drew me backward by the hair;
12And a voice said in mastery, while I strove,-
13."Guess now who holds thee!."-."Death,." I said. But, there,
14The silver answer rang,-."Not Death, but Love.."

Notes

1] Theocritus: an ancient Greek bucolic poet, living in the 3rd century, B.C. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
1850
RPO poem Editors: 
Marc R. Plamondon
RPO Edition: 
2007
Form: