Poem Hunter
Sonnet 01 - I Thought Once How Theocritus Had Sung
(6 March 1806 – 29 June 1861 / Durham / England)

Sonnet 01 - I Thought Once How Theocritus Had Sung

Poem By Elizabeth Barrett Browning


I thought once how Theocritus had sung
Of the sweet years, the dear and wished-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.'

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Comments (3)

A lovely sonnet indeed it is by Elizabeth Barrett to and enjoy now!
There must be your greater relief than to know that love overpowers death, and rips me right out of its destructive jaws.
Of the sweet years with the muse of life. Nice work.