Sonnets from the Portuguese: V

Original Text: 
A Selection from the Poetry of Elizabeth Barrett Browning. First Series. New Edition. London: Smith, Elder, & Co., 1886. 1: 181-202.
1I lift my heavy heart up solemnly,
3And, looking in thine eyes, I overturn
4The ashes at thy feet. Behold and see
5What a great heap of grief lay hid in me,
6And how the red wild sparkles dimly burn
7Through the ashen greyness. If thy foot in scorn
8Could tread them out to darkness utterly,
9It might be well perhaps. But if instead
10Thou wait beside me for the wind to blow
12O my Belovèd, will not shield thee so,
13That none of all the fires shall scorch and shred
14The hair beneath. Stand further off then! go!


2] Electra: in Greek mythology, the daughter of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra. She is best known (from Aeschylus's play, Agamemnon) for her homage to her dead father's memory, after he had been killed by her mother and her mother's new lover, and for waiting for her brother, Orestes, to return to avenge her father's death. Back to Line
11] laurels: leaves from the laurel tree traditionally symbolize praise, victory, and fame Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Marc R. Plamondon
RPO Edition: