Verse > Anthologies > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of English Verse
Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. 1919. The Oxford Book of English Verse: 1250–1900.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning. 1806–1861
686. Sonnets from the Portuguese
WHEN our two souls stand up erect and strong, 
  Face to face, silent, drawing nigh and nigher, 
  Until the lengthening wings break into fire 
At either curving point,—what bitter wrong 
Can the earth do us, that we should not long         5
  Be here contented? Think! In mounting higher, 
  The angels would press on us, and aspire 
To drop some golden orb of perfect song 
Into our deep, dear silence. Let us stay 
  Rather on earth, Belovèd—where the unfit  10
Contrarious moods of men recoil away 
  And isolate pure spirits, and permit 
A place to stand and love in for a day, 
  With darkness and the death-hour rounding it. 

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