Elizabeth Barrett Browning

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

XXX


I see thine image through my tears to-night,
And yet to-day I saw thee smiling. How
Refer the cause ?--Beloved, is it thou
Or I, who makes me sad ? The acolyte
Amid the chanted joy and thankful rite
May so fall flat, with pale insensate brow,
On the altar-stair. I hear thy voice and vow,
Perplexed, uncertain, since thou art out of sight,
As he, in his swooning ears, the choir's Amen.
Beloved, dost thou love ? or did I see all
The glory as I dreamed, and fainted when
Too vehement light dilated my ideal,
For my soul's eyes ? Will that light come again,
As now these tears come--falling hot and real ?

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

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