Sonnets from the Portuguese 20: Beloved, my Beloved, when I think

By Elizabeth Barrett Browning 1806–1861 Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Beloved, my Beloved, when I think
That thou wast in the world a year ago,
What time I sate alone here in the snow
And saw no footprint, heard the silence sink
No moment at thy voice ... but, link by link,
Went counting all my chains, as if that so
They never could fall off at any blow
Struck by thy possible hand ... why, thus I drink
Of life's great cup of wonder! Wonderful,
Never to feel thee thrill the day or night
With personal act or speech,—nor ever cull
Some prescience of thee with the blossoms white
Thou sawest growing! Atheists are as dull,
Who cannot guess God's presence out of sight.

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Poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning 1806–1861

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Subjects Faith & Doubt, Religion, Relationships, Love, Romantic Love

Poetic Terms Sonnet, Imagery, 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 Faith & Doubt, Religion, Relationships, Love, Romantic Love

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Poetic Terms Sonnet, Imagery, Metaphor

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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