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Elizabeth Barrett Browning

(6 March 1806 – 29 June 1861 / Durham / England)

Sonnets from the Portuguese ii


UNLIKE are we, unlike, O princely Heart!
   Unlike our uses and our destinies.
   Our ministering two angels look surprise
On one another, as they strike athwart
Their wings in passing. Thou, bethink thee, art
   A guest for queens to social pageantries,
   With gages from a hundred brighter eyes
Than tears even can make mine, to play thy part
Of chief musician. What hast thou to do
   With looking from the lattice-lights at me--
A poor, tired, wandering singer, singing through
   The dark, and leaning up a cypress tree?
The chrism is on thine head--on mine the dew--
   And Death must dig the level where these agree.

Submitted: Saturday, January 04, 2003

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