Verse > Anthologies > Hunt and Lee, eds. > The Book of the Sonnet
Hunt and Lee, comps.  The Book of the Sonnet.  1867.
XIII. “And therefore, if to love can be desert”
By Mrs. Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806–1861)
(From Sonnets from the Portuguese)

AND therefore, if to love can be desert,
I am not all unworthy. Cheeks as pale
As these you see, and trembling knees that fail
To bear the burden of a heavy heart,
This weary minstrel-life that once was girt        5
To climb Aornus, and can scarce avail
To pipe now ’gainst the woodland nightingale
A melancholy music?—why advert
To these things? O beloved, it is plain
I am not of thy worth nor for thy place;        10
And yet because I love thee, I obtain
From that same love this vindicating grace,
To live on still in love and yet in vain;
To bless thee, yet renounce thee to thy face.

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