Home  »  English Poetry II  »  588. Sonnets from the Portuguese

English Poetry II: From Collins to Fitzgerald.
The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

588. Sonnets from the Portuguese


AND therefore if to love can be desert,

I am not all unworthy. Cheeks as pale

As these you see, and trembling knees that fail

To bear the burden of a heavy heart,—

This weary minstrel-life that once was girt

To climb Aornus, and can scarce avail

To pipe now ’gainst the valley nightingale

A melancholy music,—why advert

To these things? O Belovèd, it is plain

I am not of thy worth nor for thy place!

And yet, because I love thee, I obtain

From that same love this vindicating grace,

To live on still in love, and yet in vain,—

To bless thee, yet renounce thee to thy face.