Saturday, September 12, 2009

September 12: Love Letters of Elizabeth Browning (Vol. 41, pp. 923-932)

On this day in 1846, Robert Browning took Elizabeth Barrett as his lawfully wedded wife, so naturally, we get Mrs. Browning's "Sonnets from the Portuguese" today. Here's a taste...

YET, love, mere love, is beautiful indeed

And worthy of acceptation. Fire is bright,

Let temple burn, or flax; an equal light

Leaps in the flame from cedar-plank or weed:

And love is fire. And when I say at need
I love thee … mark! … I love thee—in thy sight

I stand transfigured, glorified aright,

With conscience of the new rays that proceed

Out of my face toward thine. There’s nothing low

In love, when love the lowest: meanest creatures
Who love God, God accepts while loving so.

And what I feel, across the inferior features

Of what I am, doth flash itself, and show

How that great work of Love enhances Nature’s.

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