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

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

607. Sonnets from the Portuguese


I SEE thine image through my tears to-night,

And yet to-day I saw thee smiling. How

Refer the cause?—Beloved, is it thou

Or I, who makes me sad? The acolyte

Amid the chanted joy and thankful rite

May so fall flat, with pale insensate brow,

On the altar-stair. I hear thy voice and vow,

Perplexed, uncertain, since thou art out of sight,

As he, in his swooning ears, the choir’s Amen.

Beloved, dost thou love? or did I see all

The glory as I dreamed, and fainted when

Too vehement light dilated my ideal,

For my soul’s eyes? Will that light come again,

As now these tears come—falling hot and real?