Sonnet - Dramatis Personæ

A poem by Robert Browning

Eyes, calm beside thee, (Lady, could’st thou know!)
May turn away thick with fast-gathering tears:
I glance not where all gaze: thrilling and low
Their passionate praises reach thee my cheek wears
Alone no wonder when thou passest by;
Thy tremulous lids bent and suffused reply
To the irrepressible homage which doth glow
On every lip but mine: if in thine ears
Their accents linger and thou dost recall
Me as I stood, still, guarded, very pale,
Beside each votarist whose lighted brow
Wore worship like an aureole, “O’er them all
My beauty,” thou wilt murmur, “did prevail
Save that one only:”—Lady, could’st thou know!

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