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Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861)

Sonnets from the Portuguese 20: Beloved, my Beloved


              1Beloved, my Beloved, when I think
              2That thou wast in the world a year ago,
              3What time I sate alone here in the snow
              4And saw no footprint, heard the silence sink
              5No moment at thy voice ... but, link by link,
              6Went counting all my chains, as if that so
              7They never could fall off at any blow
              8Struck by thy possible hand ... why, thus I drink
              9Of life's great cup of wonder! Wonderful,
            10Never to feel thee thrill the day or night
            11With personal act or speech,--nor ever cull
            12Some prescience of thee with the blossoms white
            13Thou sawest growing! Atheists are as dull,
            14Who cannot guess God's presence out of sight.


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