Past and Future

By Elizabeth Barrett Browning 1806–1861 Elizabeth Barrett Browning

MY future will not copy fair my past
On any leaf but Heaven's. Be fully done,
Supernal Will ! I would not fain be one
Who, satisfying thirst and breaking fast
Upon the fulness of the heart, at last
Saith no grace after meat. My wine hath run
Indeed out of my cup, and there is none
To gather up the bread of my repast
Scattered and trampled ! Yet I find some good
In earth's green herbs, and streams that bubble up
Clear from the darkling ground, — content until
I sit with angels before better food.
Dear Christ ! when thy new vintage fills my cup,
This hand shall shake no more, nor that wine spill.

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Poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning 1806–1861

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Subjects Religion, Living, Christianity

Occasions Funerals

Poetic Terms Sonnet, Metaphor

 Elizabeth  Barrett Browning

Biography

Among all women poets of the English-speaking world in the nineteenth century, none was held in higher critical esteem or was more admired for the independence and courage of her views than Elizabeth Barrett Browning. During the years of her marriage to Robert Browning, her literary reputation far surpassed that of her poet-husband; when visitors came to their home in Florence, she was invariably the greater attraction. Both in . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Religion, Living, Christianity

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Poetic Terms Sonnet, Metaphor

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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