Sonnets from the Portuguese: XVIII

Original Text: 
A Selection from the Poetry of Elizabeth Barrett Browning. First Series. New Edition. London: Smith, Elder, & Co., 1886. 1: 181-202.
2To a man, Dearest, except this to thee,
3Which now upon my fingers thoughtfully
4I ring out to the full brown length and say
5."Take it.." My day of youth went yesterday;
6My hair no longer bounds to my foot's glee,
7Nor plant I it from rose- or myrtle-tree,
8As girls do, any more: it only may
9Now shade on two pale cheeks the mark of tears,
10Taught drooping from the head that hangs aside
12Would take this first, but Love is justified,-
13Take it thou,-finding pure, from all those years,
14The kiss my mother left here when she died.


1] a lock of hair: this was treasured as a very personal gift from one person to another Back to Line
11] funeral-shears: scissors used to cut a lock of hair from a dead person's head, by which others may treasure the dead person's memory Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Marc R. Plamondon
RPO Edition: