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Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861)

Sonnets from the Portuguese 26: I Lived with Visions


              1I lived with visions for my company,
              2Instead of men and women, years ago,
              3And found them gentle mates, nor thought to know
              4A sweeter music than they played to me.
              5But soon their trailing purple was not free
              6Of this world's dust, -- their lutes did silent grow,
              7And I myself grew faint and blind below
              8Their vanishing eyes. Then THOU didst come ... to be,
              9Belovèd, what they seemed. Their shining fronts,
            10Their songs, their splendours, (better, yet the same,
            11As river-water hallowed into fonts)
            12Met in thee, and from out thee overcame
            13My soul with satisfaction of all wants --
            14Because God's gifts put man's best dreams to shame.


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: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: Not in printed RP.
Recent editing: 2:2002/2/6

Composition date: 1845 - 1846
Form: sonnet


Other poems by Elizabeth Barrett Browning