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Poetry of Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Sonnets from the Portuguese

XXX

I see thine image through my tears to-night,
And yet to-day I saw thee smiling.  How
Refer the cause?--Beloved, is it thou
Or I, who makes me sad?  The acolyte
Amid the chanted joy and thankful rite
May so fall flat, with pale insensate brow,
On the altar-stair.  I hear thy voice and vow,
Perplexed, uncertain, since thou art out of sight,
As he, in his swooning ears, the choir's amen.
Beloved, dost thou love? or did I see all
The glory as I dreamed, and fainted when
Too vehement light dilated my ideal,
For my soul's eyes?  Will that light come again,
As now these tears come--falling hot and real?