Elizabeth Barrett Browning

  • First time he kissed me, he but only kissed
    The fingers of this hand wherewith I write;
    And, ever since, it grew more clean and white,
    Slow to world-greetings, quick with its “O list!”
    When the angels speak. A ring of amethyst
    I could not wear here,...

  • If I leave all for thee, wilt thou exchange
    And be all to me? Shall I never miss
    Home-talk and blessing and the common kiss
    That comes to each in turn, nor count it strange,
    When I look up, to drop on a new range
    Of walls and floors, another home than this...

  • My letters! all dead paper,… mute and white!—
    And yet they seem alive and quivering
    Against my tremulous hands which loose the string
    And let them drop down on my knee to-night.
    This said,… he wished to have me in his sight
    Once, as a friend: this fixed a...

  • Say over again, and yet once over again,
    That thou dost love me. Though the word repeated
    Should seem a “cuckoo-song,” as thou dost treat it,
    Remember never to the hill or plain,
    Valley and wood, without her cuckoo-strain,
    Comes the fresh spring in all her...

  • I Never gave a lock of hair away
    To a man, Dearest, except this to thee,
    Which now upon my fingers thoughtfully
    I ring out to the full brown length and say
    “Take it.” My day of youth went yesterday;
    My hair no longer bounds to my foot’s glee.

  • If thou must love me, let it be for naught
    Except for love’s sake only. Do not say
    “I love her for her smile … her look … her way
    Of speaking gently,—for a trick of thought
    That falls in well with mine, and certes brought
    A sense of pleasant ease on such a...

  • Go from me. Yet I feel that I shall stand
    Henceforward in thy shadow. Nevermore
    Alone upon the threshold of my door
    Of individual life, I shall command
    The uses of my soul, nor lift my hand
    Serenely in the sunshine as before,
    Without the sense of...

  •   LITTLE Ellie sits alone
    Mid the beeches of a meadow,
      By a stream-side on the grass,
      And the trees are showering down
    Doubles of their leaves in shadow,
      On her shining hair and face.

      She has thrown her bonnet by,
    And her feet she...

  •  “One name is Elizabeth.”
    —BEN JONSON.    

    I WILL paint her as I see her.
      Ten times have the lilies blown
      Since she looked upon the sun.

    And her face is lily-clear,
      Lily-shaped, and dropped in duty
      To the law of its own beauty....

  •         Ô Papillon si j’étais toi
            Que j’eusse puissance de Roi
    Sur l’odorante fleur qui naît ou meurt sous moi, ─

            N’arrêterais certes mon aile
            Sur une fleur qui n’est que belle,
    Mon amour serait...