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Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861)

Sonnets from the Portuguese 7: The Face


              1The face of all the world is changed, I think,
              2Since first I heard the footsteps of thy soul
              3Move still, oh, still, beside me, as they stole
              4Betwixt me and the dreadful outer brink
              5Of obvious death, where I, who thought to sink,
              6Was caught up into love, and taught the whole
              7Of life in a new rhythm. The cup of dole
              8God gave for baptism, I am fain to drink,
              9And praise its sweetness, Sweet, with thee anear.
            10The names of country, heaven, are changed away
            11For where thou art or shalt be, there or here;
            12And this ... this lute and song ... loved yesterday,
            13(The singing angels know) are only dear,
            14Because thy name moves right in what they say.


Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Poems. 4th edn. 3 vols. London: Chapman and Hall, 1856. PR 4180 E44a ROBA
First publication date: 1850
RPO poem editor: J. D. Robins
RP edition: 2RP.II.343
Recent editing: 2:2002/2/6

Composition date: 1845 - 1846
Form: sonnet


Other poems by Elizabeth Barrett Browning