Sonnets from the Portuguese: XIX

Original Text: 
A Selection from the Poetry of Elizabeth Barrett Browning. First Series. New Edition. London: Smith, Elder, & Co., 1886. 1: 181-202.
2I barter curl for curl upon that mart,
3And from my poet's forehead to my heart
6The dim purpureal tresses gloomed athwart
9Still lingers on thy curl, it is so black!
10Thus, with a fillet of smooth-kissing breath,
11I tie the shadows safe from gliding back,
12And lay the gift where nothing hindereth;
13Here on my heart, as on thy brow, to lack
14No natural heat till mine grows cold in death.


1] Rialto: a market area in Venice Back to Line
4] this lock: a lock of hair was treasured as a very personal gift from one person to another
argosies: very large merchant ships Back to Line
5] Pindar: a lyrical poet of ancient Greece Back to Line
7] nine white Muse-brows: In Greek mythology, the Muses are nine sisters, goddesses of the arts and artistic inspiration. Back to Line
8] bay-crown: a crown made of bay leaves. The bay-crown was traditionally awarded to athletes, scholars, and poets in victory or as a symbol of distinction. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Marc R. Plamondon
RPO Edition: