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Poetry of Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Sonnets from the Portuguese

V

I lift my heavy heart up solemnly,
As once Electra her sepulchral urn,
And, looking in thine eyes, I over-turn
The ashes at thy feet.  Behold and see
What a great heap of grief lay hid in me,
And how the red wild sparkles dimly burn
Through the ashen greyness.  If thy foot in scorn
Could tread them out to darkness utterly,
It might be well perhaps.  But if instead
Thou wait beside me for the wind to blow
The grey dust up, . . . those laurels on thine head,
O my Beloved, will not shield thee so,
That none of all the fires shall scorch and shred
The hair beneath.  Stand further off then! go!