Elizabeth Barrett Browning

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

XXVI


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

Submitted: Sunday, May 13, 2001

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