Sonnets from the Portuguese: VIII
A Selection from the Poetry of Elizabeth Barrett Browning. First Series. New Edition. London: Smith, Elder, & Co., 1886. 1: 181-202.
1What can I give thee back, O liberal
3And purple of thine heart, unstained, untold,
4And laid them on the outside of the wall
5For such as I to take or leave withal,
6In unexpected largesse? am I cold,
7Ungrateful, that for these most manifold
8High gifts, I render nothing back at all?
9Not so; not cold,-but very poor instead.
10Ask God who knows. For frequent tears have run
11The colours from my life, and left so dead
12And pale a stuff, it were not fitly done
13To give the same as pillow to thy head.
14Go farther! let it serve to trample on.
2] gold and purple: colours traditionally associated with royalty and luxury Back to Line
Publication Start Year:
RPO poem Editors:
Marc R. Plamondon