Verse > Anthologies > Hunt and Lee, eds. > The Book of the Sonnet
Hunt and Lee, comps.  The Book of the Sonnet.  1867.
VI. Hugh Stuart Boyd: His Blindness
By Mrs. Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806–1861)
GOD would not let the spheric lights accost
This God-loved man, and bade the earth stand off
With all her beckoning hills, whose golden stuff
Under the feet of the royal sun is crossed.
Yet such things were, to him, not wholly lost,—        5
Permitted, with his wandering eyes, light-proof,
To have fair visions rendered full enough
By many a ministrant accomplished ghost;
And seeing, to sounds of softly-turned book-leaves,
Sappho’s crown-rose, and Meleager’s spring,        10
And Gregory’s starlight, on Greek-burnished eves:
Till Sensual and Unsensual seemed one thing
Viewed from one level,—earth’s reapers at the sheaves,
Not plainer than Heaven’s angels marshalling!

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