Phoebe Anna Traquair

'Sonnets from the Portuguese'

Sonnet 39

Because thou hast the power and own'st the grace
To look through and behind this mask of me,
(Against which years have beat thus blanchingly
With their rains), and behold my soul's true face,
The dim and weary witness of life's race, –
Because thou hast the faith and love to see,
Through that same soul's distracting lethargy,
The patient angel waiting for a place
In the new Heavens, – because nor sin nor woe
Nor God's infliction, nor death's neighbourhood,
Nor all which others viewing, turn to go, Nor all which makes me tired of all, self-viewed, –
Nothing repels thee, Dearest, teach me so
To pour out gratitude, as thou dost, good!.

– text transcribed from Phoebe Anna Traquair's manuscript

Folio 40 from Phoebe Anna Traquair's illuminated copy of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's 'Sonnets from the Portuguese', 1892-1897
Library reference: MS.8127, f.40
Date: Undated

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