Verse > Anthologies > Harvard Classics > English Poetry II: From Collins to Fitzgerald
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   English Poetry II: From Collins to Fitzgerald.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
594. Sonnets from the Portuguese
 
XVII
 
Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806–1861)
 
 
MY poet, thou canst touch on all the notes
God set between His After and Before,
And strike up and strike off the general roar
Of the rushing worlds a melody that floats
In a serene air purely. Antidotes        5
Of medicated music, answering for
Mankind’s forlornest uses, thou canst pour
From thence into their ears. God’s will devotes
Thine to such ends, and mine to wait on thine.
How, Dearest, wilt thou have me for most use?        10
A hope, to sing by gladly? or a fine
Sad memory, with thy songs to interfuse?
A shade, in which to sing—of palm or pine?
A grave, on which to rest from singing? Choose.
 

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