Sonnet XIX: The Soul's Rialto

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

The soul's Rialto hath its merchandise;
I barter curl for curl upon that mart,
And from my poet's forehead to my heart
Receive this lock which outweighs argosies,--
As purply black, as erst to Pindar's eyes
The dim purpureal tresses gloomed athwart
The nine white Muse-brows. For this counterpart,...
The bay-crown's shade, Belovèd, I surmise,
Still lingers on thy curl, it so black!
Thus, with a fillet of smooth-kissing breath,
I tie the shadows safe from gliding back,
And lay the gift where nothing hindereth;
Here on my heart, as on thy brow, to lack
No natural heat till mine grows cold in death.

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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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