Poems by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

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How he sleepeth! having drunken
Prologue
O Rose! who dares to name thee?
I
I.
We walked beside the sea,
INSCRIBED TO MY FRIEND E. C.
She has laughed as softly as if she sighed,
He listened at the porch that day,
Now, by the verdure on thy thousand hills,
If all the gentlest-hearted friends I know
One eve it happened, when I sat alone,
Aurora Leigh, be humble. Shall I hope
They met still sooner. 'Twas a year from thence
Even thus. I pause to write it out at length,
Of writing many books there is no end;
"The woman's motive? shall we daub ourselves
The English have a scornful insular way
"To-day thou girdest up thy loins thyself
Times followed one another. Came a morn
The cypress stood up like a church
Five months ago the stream did flow,
I think we are too ready with complaint
Hearken, oh hearken! let your souls behind you
Speak low to me, my Saviour, low and sweet
All are not taken; there are left behind
I
Light human nature is too lightly tost
We overstate the ills of life, and take
God, God!
And, O beloved voices, upon which
I tell you, hopeless grief is passionless;
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
We sow the glebe, we reap the corn,
When I attain to utter forth in verse
I have been in the meadows all the day
I
For ever, since my childish looks
I.
I.
Wordsworth upon Helvellyn! Let the cloud
I.
A thought ay like a flower upon mine heart,
My future will not copy fair my past
'O dreary life,' we cry, 'O dreary life!'
AFFECTIONATELY INSCRIBED TO E. J.
I thought once how Theocritus had sung
But only three in all God’s universe
Unlike are we, unlike, O princely Heart!
Thou hast thy calling to some palace-floor,
Can it be right to give what I can give?
I lift my heavy heart up solemnly,
Go from me. Yet I feel that I shall stand
The face of all the world is changed, I think,
What can I give thee back, O liberal
Yet, love, mere love, is beautiful indeed
And therefore if to love can be desert,
Indeed this very love which is my boast,
And wilt thou have me fashion into speech
If thou must love me, let it be for nought
The soul’s Rialto hath its merchandize;
Oh, yes! they love through all this world of ours!
I thank all who have loved me in their hearts,
My future will not copy fair my past,
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
Belovëd, thou hast brought me many flowers
Accuse me not, beseech thee, that I wear
And yet, because thou overcomest so,
My poet, thou canst touch on all the notes
I never gave a lock of hair away
Belovëd, my Belovëd, when I think
Say over again, and yet once over again,
When our two souls stand up erect and strong,
Is it indeed so? If I lay here dead,
Let the world’s sharpness like a clasping knife
I think of thee! my thoughts do twine and bud
A heavy heart, Belovëd, have I borne
I lived with visions for my company
My own Belovëd, who hast lifted me
My letters! all dead paper, mute and white!
I see thine image through my tears to-night,
Thou comest! all is said without a word.
The first time that the sun rose on thine oath
Yes, call me by my pet-name! let me hear
With the same heart, I said, I’ll answer thee
Because thou hast the power and own’st the grace
If I leave all for thee, wilt thou exchange
When we met first and loved, I did not build
Pardon, oh, pardon, that my soul should make
First time he kissed me, he but only kissed
When some beloved voice that was to you
Thank God, bless God, all ye who suffer not
Go, sit upon the lofty hill,
What's the best thing in the world?
"Theu theu, ti prosderkesthe m ommasin, tekna;"
I mind me in the days departed,
I would build a cloudy House
"Yes!" I answered you last night;
The Saviour looked on Peter. Ay, no word,
I think that look of Christ might seem to say
I
Said a people to a poet "Go out from among us straightway!
I count the dismal time by months and years
IX
I.
The seraph sings before the manifest
With stammering lips and insufficient sound
Two savings of the Holy Scriptures beat
Which is the weakest thing of all
Mine is a wayward lay;
Loving friend, the gift of one,
Thou large-brained woman and large-hearted man,
True genius, but true woman! dost deny
What are we set on earth for? Say, to toil;
The woman singeth at her spinning-wheel

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