Sonnets from the Portuguese - I
I thought once how Theocritus had sung

by Elizabeth Barrett Browning


I thought once how Theocritus had sung
Of the sweet years, the dear and wish'd-for years,
Who each one in a gracious hand appears
To bear a gift for mortals, old or young:
And, as I mus'd it in his antique tongue,
I saw, in gradual vision through my tears,
The sweet, sad years, the melancholy years,
Those of my own life, who by turns had flung
A shadow across me. Straightway I was 'ware,
So weeping, how a mystic Shape did move
Behind me, and drew me backward by the hair;
And a voice said in mastery, while I strove,-
"Guess now who holds thee!"-"Death," I said. But, there,
The silver answer rang-"Not Death, but Love."



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Sonnets from the Portuguese

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