Sonnets from the Portuguese 35: If I leave all for thee, wilt thou exchange

By Elizabeth Barrett Browning 1806–1861 Elizabeth Barrett Browning
If I leave all for thee, wilt thou exchange
And be all to me? Shall I never miss
Home-talk and blessing and the common kiss
That comes to each in turn, nor count it strange,
When I look up, to drop on a new range
Of walls and floors ... another home than this?
Nay, wilt thou fill that place by me which is
Filled by dead eyes too tender to know change?
That's hardest. If to conquer love, has tried,
To conquer grief, tries more ... as all things prove;
For grief indeed is love and grief beside.
Alas, I have grieved so I am hard to love.
Yet love me—wilt thou? Open thine heart wide,
And fold within, the wet wings of thy dove.

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Poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning 1806–1861

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Subjects Living, Love, Marriage & Companionship, Home Life, Relationships, Sorrow & Grieving, Heartache & Loss, Realistic & Complicated

Poetic Terms Sonnet

 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 Living, Love, Marriage & Companionship, Home Life, Relationships, Sorrow & Grieving, Heartache & Loss, Realistic & Complicated

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Poetic Terms Sonnet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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