Elizabeth Barrett Browning

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

The Lady's Yes - Poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

'Yes,' I answered you last night;
'No,' this morning, Sir, I say.
Colours seen by candlelight,
Will not look the same by day.

When the viols played their best,
Lamps above, and laughs below---
Love me sounded like a jest,
Fit for Yes or fit for No.

Call me false, or call me free---
Vow, whatever light may shine,
No man on your face shall see
Any grief for change on mine.

Yet the sin is on us both---
Time to dance is not to woo---
Wooer light makes fickle troth---
Scorn of me recoils on you.

Learn to win a lady's faith
Nobly, as the thing is high;
Bravely, as for life and death---
With a loyal gravity.

Lead her from the festive boards,
Point her to the starry skies,
Guard her, by your truthful words,
Pure from courtship's flatteries.

By your truth she shall be true---
Ever true, as wives of yore---
And her Yes, once said to you,
SHALL be Yes for evermore.


Comments about The Lady's Yes by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

  • (5/25/2008 8:41:00 AM)


    lovely.....and how true a lady's wishes are described here....
    i wish every man reads it and understands it
    i love her candid way saying things so complicated
    loved this piece
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Read poems about / on: grief, dance, faith, change, truth, light, death, night, time, life, sky



Poem Submitted: Sunday, May 13, 2001

Poem Edited: Sunday, May 13, 2001


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