Sonnets from the Portuguese 1: I Thought how Theocritus

Original Text: 
Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Poems. 4th edn. 3 vols. London: Chapman and Hall, 1856. PR 4180 E44a ROBA
1I thought once how Theocritus had sung
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.'
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
J. D. Robins
RPO Edition: