XLII- Sonnets From the Portuguese By Elizabeth Barrett-Browning

My future will not copy fair my past —
I wrote that once, and thinking at my side
My ministering life-angel justified
The word by his appealing look upcast
To the white throne of God, I turned at last,
And there, instead, saw thee, not unallied
To angels in thy soul! Then I, long tried
By natural ills, received the comfort fast,
While budding, at thy sight, my pilgrim’s staff
Gave out green leaves with morning dew impearled.
I seek no copy now of life’s first half:
Leave here the pages with long musing curled,
And write me my new future’s epigraph,
New angel mine, unhoped for in the world!



Of course Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s rhyme schemes drove the literary establishment cracked, the mention of her name for the Laureateship ( after the death of Wordsworth) was not truly in earnest but it was good discussions began…..

The Sonnets from the Portuguese were written to Robert and handed to him after their elopement , when he was in deep grief over a death in his family. 341 years after the name of Barret-Browning was mentioned in jest for the British Laureateship, the cycle of male-domination of these laurels was broken by Carol Ann Duffy in 2009 !


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