Sonnets from the Portuguese 38: First time he kissed me

By Elizabeth Barrett Browning 1806–1861 Elizabeth Barrett Browning
First time he kissed me, he but only kissed
The fingers of this hand wherewith I write,
And ever since it grew more clean and white,...
Slow to world-greetings...quick with its “Oh, list,”
When the angels speak. A ring of amethyst
I could not wear here plainer to my sight,
Than that first kiss. The second passed in height
The first, and sought the forehead, and half missed,
Half falling on the hair. O beyond meed!
That was the chrism of love, which love’s own crown,
With sanctifying sweetness, did precede.
The third, upon my lips, was folded down
In perfect, purple state! since when, indeed,
I have been proud and said, “My Love, my own.”

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Poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning 1806–1861

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Subjects Love, Romantic Love, Desire, First Love

 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 Love, Romantic Love, Desire, First Love

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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