I

Elizabeth Barrett Browning 1806 (Kelloe) – 1861 (Florence)

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.'

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Elizabeth Barrett Browning was one of the most prominent English poets of the Victorian era. more…

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    "I" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 16 Jan. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/10232/i>.

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