Sonnets from the Portuguese


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My letters! all dead paper, mute and white! And yet they seem alive and quivering Against my tremulous hands which loose the string And let them drop down on my knee to-night. This said,—he wished to have me in his sight Once, as a friend: this fixed a day in spring To come and touch my hand . . . a simple thing, Yet I wept for it!—this, . . . the paper’s light . . . Said, Dear I love thee; and I sank and quailed As if God’s future thundered on my past. This said, I am thine—and so its ink has paled With lying at my heart that beat too fast. And this . . . O Love, thy words have ill availed If, what this said, I dared repeat at last!

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Elizabeth Barrett Browning

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Chicago: "XXVIII," Sonnets from the Portuguese Original Sources, accessed February 25, 2024,

MLA: "XXVIII." Sonnets from the Portuguese, Original Sources. 25 Feb. 2024.

Harvard: 1850, 'XXVIII' in Sonnets from the Portuguese. Original Sources, retrieved 25 February 2024, from