Verse > Anthologies > Hunt and Lee, eds. > The Book of the Sonnet
Hunt and Lee, comps.  The Book of the Sonnet.  1867.
XV. “And wilt thou have me fashion into speech”
By Mrs. Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806–1861)
(From Sonnets from the Portuguese)

AND wilt thou have me fashion into speech
The love I bear thee, finding words enough,
And hold the torch out, while the winds are rough
Between our faces, to cast light on each?
I drop it at thy feet. I cannot teach        5
My hand to hold thy spirit so far off
From myself—me—that I should bring thee proof,
In words, of love hid in me out of reach.
Nay, let the silence of my womanhood
Commend my woman-love to thy belief,—        10
Seeing that I stand unwon, however wooed,
And rend the garment of my life, in brief,
By a most dauntless, voiceless fortitude,
Lest one touch of this heart convey its grief.

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