Elizabeth Barrett Browning

POETRY: Tears by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

February 6, 2019

Thank God, bless God, all ye who suffer not More grief than ye can weep for. That is well— That is light grieving! lighter, none befell Since Adam forfeited the primal lot. Tears! what are tears? The babe weeps in its cot, The mother singing; at her marriage-bell The bride weeps, and before the oracle Of high-faned hills the poet has forgot Such moisture on his cheeks. Thank God for grace, Ye who weep only! If, as some have done, Ye grope tear-blinded in a desert place And touch but tombs,—look up! those tears will run Soon in long rivers down the lifted face, And leave the vision clear for stars and [...]

POETRY: Past And Future by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

May 2, 2018

My future will not copy fair my past On any leaf but Heaven’s. Be fully done Supernal Will! I would not fain be one Who, satisfying thirst and breaking fast, Upon the fullness of the heart at last Says no grace after meat. My wine has run Indeed out of my cup, and there is none To gather up the bread of my repast Scattered and trampled; yet I find some good In earth’s green herbs, and streams that bubble up Clear from the darkling ground,—content until I sit with angels before better food:— Dear Christ! when thy new vintage fills my cup, This hand shall shake no more, nor that wine [...]

POETRY: The Sleep by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

November 28, 2017

Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep. (Psalm 127:1-2) Of all the thoughts of God that are Borne inward unto souls afar, Along the Psalmist’s music deep, Now tell me if that any is, For gift or grace, surpassing this: “He giveth his beloved—sleep?” What would we give to our beloved? The hero’s heart to be unmoved, The poet’s star-tuned harp to sweep, The patriot’s voice to teach and rouse, The monarch’s crown to light the brows? He giveth his beloved—sleep. What do we give to our [...]

POETRY: Substitution, by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

June 1, 2016

When some beloved voice that was to you Both sound and sweetness, faileth suddenly, And silence, against which you dare not cry, Aches round you like a strong disease and new— What hope? what help? what music will undo That silence to your sense? Not friendship’s sigh, Not reason’s subtle count; not melody Of viols, nor of pipes that Faunus blew; Not songs of poets, nor of nightingales Whose hearts leap upward through the cypress-trees To the clear moon; nor yet the spheric laws Self-chanted, nor the angels’ sweet “All hails,” Met in the smile of God: nay, none of these. Speak THOU, availing Christ!—and fill this [...]

POETRY: Betrayal and Forgiveness, two sonnets by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

March 25, 2013

The Look The Savior looked on Peter. Ay, no word, No gesture of reproach! The heavens serene, Though heavy with armed justice, did not lean Their thunders that way: the forsaken Lord Looked only on the traitor. None record What that look was, none guess: for those who have seen Wronged lovers loving through a death-pang ken, Or pale-cheeked martyrs smiling to a sword, Have missed Jehovah at the judgment— “I never knew this man”—did quail and fall, call. And Peter, from the height of blasphemy As knowing straight THAT GOD—turned free And went out speechless from the face of all, And filled the silence, weeping bitterly. The Meaning of the Look I think that look of Christ might seem to say— “Thou Peter! art thou [...]

POETRY: Death — Five Poems

March 6, 2013

The Death of the Flowers William Cullen Bryant The melancholy days are come, the saddest of the year, Of wailing wind, and naked woods, and meadows brown and sere. Heaped in the hollows of the grove, the autumn leaves lie dead; They rustle to the eddying gust, and to the rabbit’s tread; The robin and the wren are flown, and from the shrubs the jay, And from the wood-top calls the crow through all the gloomy day. Where are the flowers, the fair young flowers, that lately sprang and stood In brighter light and softer airs, a beauteous sisterhood? Alas! they are all in their graves, the gentle race of flowers Are lying in their lowly beds, with the fair and good of ours. The rain is falling where they lie, but the cold November rain [...]

POETRY: Comfort by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

February 13, 2012

Speak to me low, my savior, low and sweet From out the hallelujas, sweet and low, Lest I should fear and fall, and miss thee so Who art not missed by any that entreat. Speak to me as to Mary at thy feet— And if no precious gums be me my hand bestow, Let my tears drop like amber, while I go In reach of your divinest voice complete In humanest affection—thus, in sooth, To lose the sense of losing!  As a child, Whose song-bird seeks the wood for evermore, Is sung to in its stead by mother’s mouth; Till, sinking on her breast, love-reconciled, He sleeps the faster that he wept [...]