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Live Stream: Sonnets from the Portuguese 35 by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Written by Rachael Norris, 10th February 2021

In today's Shared Reading live stream we are reading Sonnets from the Portuguese 35: 'If I leave all for thee, wilt thou exchange' by Elizabeth Barrett Browning with National Hub Leader, Esther. The theme for our readings in February is 'Close to the Heart' and we hope the poetry, readings and recommendations we have chosen can help us stay connected over the coming weeks.

 

If I leave all for thee, wilt thou exchange

If I leave all for thee, wilt thou exchange
And be all to me? Shall I never miss
Home-talk and blessing and the common kiss
That comes to each in turn, nor count it strange,
When I look up, to drop on a new range
Of walls and floors ... another home than this?
Nay, wilt thou fill that place by me which is
Filled by dead eyes too tender to know change?
That's hardest. If to conquer love, has tried,
To conquer grief, tries more ... as all things prove;
For grief indeed is love and grief beside.
Alas, I have grieved so I am hard to love.
Yet love me—wilt thou? Open thine heart wide,
And fold within, the wet wings of thy dove.
By Elizabeth Barrett Browning

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