Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The sweet, sad years, the melancholy years

Leave the Light On, Gage Opdenbrouw
I thought once how Theocritus had sung
Of the sweet years, the dear and wish'd-for years,
Who each one in a gracious hand appears
To bear a gift for mortals, old or young:
And, as I mused it in his antique tongue,
I saw, in gradual vision through my tears
The sweet, sad years, the melancholy years -
Those of my own life, who by turns had flung
A shadow across me. Straightway I was 'ware,
So weeping, how a mystic Shape did move
Behind me, and drew me backward by the hair;
And a voice said in mastery, while I strove,
'Guess now who holds thee!' - 'Death,' I said. But there
The silver answer rang, 'Not Death, but Love.'

~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Sonnets from the Portuguese
 

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