Verse > Anthologies > Harvard Classics > English Poetry II: From Collins to Fitzgerald
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   English Poetry II: From Collins to Fitzgerald.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
586. Sonnets from the Portuguese
 
IX
 
Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806–1861)
 
 
CAN it be right to give what I can give?
To let thee sit beneath the fall of tears
As salt as mine, and hear the sighing years
Re-sighing on my lips renunciative
Through those infrequent smiles which fail to live        5
For all thy adjurations? O my fears,
That this can scarce be right! We are not peers,
So to be lovers; and I own, and grieve,
That givers of such gifts as mine are, must
Be counted with the ungenerous. Out, alas!        10
I will not soil thy purple with my dust,
Nor breathe my poison on thy Venice-glass,
Nor give thee any love—which were unjust.
Beloved, I only love thee! let it pass.
 

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