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Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861)

Sonnets from the Portuguese 35: If I Leave all for thee


              1If I leave all for thee, wilt thou exchange
              2And be all to me? Shall I never miss
              3Home-talk and blessing and the common kiss
              4That comes to each in turn, nor count it strange,
              5When I look up, to drop on a new range
              6Of walls and floors ... another home than this?
              7Nay, wilt thou fill that place by me which is
              8Filled by dead eyes too tender to know change?
              9That's hardest. If to conquer love, has tried,
            10To conquer grief, tries more ... as all things prove;
            11For grief indeed is love and grief beside.
            12Alas, I have grieved so I am hard to love.
            13Yet love me--wilt thou? Open thine heart wide,
            14And fold within, the wet wings of thy dove.


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.344.
Recent editing: 2:2002/2/6

Composition date: 1845 - 1846
Form: sonnet


Other poems by Elizabeth Barrett Browning