If I leave all for thee, wilt thou exchange
And be all to me? Shall I never miss
Home-talk and blessing and the common kiss
That comes to each in turn, nor count it strange,
When I look up, to drop on a new range
Of walls and floors, another home than this?
Nay, wilt thou fill that place by me which is
Filled by dead eyes too tender to know change
That's hardest. If to conquer love, has tried,
To conquer grief, tries more, as all things prove,
For grief indeed is love and grief beside.
Alas, I have grieved so I am hard to love.
Yet love me – wilt thou? Open thine heart wide,
And fold within, the wet wings of thy dove.
– text transcribed from Phoebe Anna Traquair's manuscript
Folio 35 from Phoebe Anna Traquair's illuminated copy of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's 'Sonnets from the Portuguese', 1892-1897
Library reference: MS.8127, f.35