Elizabeth Barrett Browning

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

Sonnet I

Poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

I thought once how Theocritus had sung
Of the sweet years, the dear and wished-for years,
Who each one in a gracious hand appears
To bear a gift for mortals, old or young:
And, as I mused 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.'

Comments about Sonnet I by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

  • Elise Verschuuren (5/22/2006 6:09:00 AM)

    I've only really been drawn into poetry because of high school - ya, THAT. But I'm really glad I did. We had to choose four poems to analyze and this is one of them. It is beautiful, really, once you have analyzed it completely you know how much goes into just writing 14 lines. Elizabeth Barrett Browning is an inspiration of time, her works are timeless. This is so touching and tender to the heart. The clincher at the end is very sweet and can be described nothing short of a classic.(Report)Reply

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Read poems about / on: silver, sad, death, hair, life, sonnet

Poem Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

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