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.
 
613. Sonnets from the Portuguese
 
XXXVI
 
Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806–1861)
 
 
WHEN we met first and loved, I did not build
Upon the event with marble. Could it mean
To last, a love set pendulous between
Sorrow and sorrow? Nay, I rather thrilled,
Distrusting every light that seemed to gild        5
The onward path, and feared to overlean
A finger even. And, though I have grown serene
And strong since then, I think that God has willed
A still renewable fear … O love, O troth …
Lest these enclaspèd hands should never hold,        10
This mutual kiss drop down between us both
As an unowned thing, once the lips being cold.
And Love, be false! if he, to keep one oath,
Must lose one joy, by his life’s star foretold.
 

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