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.
 
603. Sonnets from the Portuguese
 
XXVI
 
Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806–1861)
 
 
I LIVED with visions for my company
Instead of men and women, years ago,
And found them gentle mates, nor thought to know
A sweeter music than they played to me.
But soon their trailing purple was not free        5
Of this world’s dust, their lutes did silent grow,
And I myself grew faint and blind below
Their vanishing eyes. Then THOU didst come—to be,
Belovèd, what they seemed. Their shining fronts,
Their songs, their splendors (better, yet the same,        10
As river-water hallowed into fonts),
Met in thee, and from out thee overcame
My soul with satisfaction of all wants:
Because God’s gifts put man’s best dreams to shame.
 

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