This week I’ll be reading from the Sonnets From the Portuguese by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Browning was a Victorian poet who was immensely popular during her lifetime, and friends with a great deal of the literary and artistic giants of the time, including Tennyson, Harriet Beecher Stowe, George Sand, William Makepeace Thackeray, and John Ruskin, to name a few.
If you’d like to see other sonnets that I’ve read by her, search here.
I thought once how Theocritus had sung
Of the sweet years, the dear and wished-for years,
Who each one in a gracious hand appears
To bear a gift for mortals, old or young:
And, as I mused it in his antique tongue,
I saw, in gradual vision through my tears,
The sweet, sad years, the melancholy years,
Those of my own life, who by turns had flung
A shadow across me. Straightway I was ’ware,
So weeping, how a mystic Shape did move
Behind me, and drew me backward by the hair;
And a voice said in mastery, while I strove,—
“Guess now who holds thee!”—“Death,” I said, But, there, The silver answer rang, “Not Death, but Love.”