Elizabeth Barrett Browning

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

XI


And therefore if to love can be desert,
I am not all unworthy. Cheeks as pale
As these you see, and trembling knees that fail
To bear the burden of a heavy heart,--
This weary minstrel-life that once was girt
To climb Aornus, and can scarce avail
To pipe now 'gainst the valley nightingale
A melancholy music,--why advert
To these things ? O Beloved, it is plain
I am not of thy worth nor for thy place !
And yet, because I love thee, I obtain
From that same love this vindicating grace,
To live on still in love, and yet in vain,--
To bless thee, yet renounce thee to thy face.

Submitted: Sunday, May 13, 2001
Edited: Sunday, May 13, 2001

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