Sonnets from the Portuguese

Window 4, Sonnet 11

Austin Moore - Elizabeth Barrett Browning Salon

Charles J. Connick Associates, Inc., Boston, Massachusetts

The dove inside a circle of blue on this fourth window symbolizes the contemplative nature of the eleventh sonnet. Elizabeth is rethinking her decision not to marry Robert. However, her hands are still crossed as she continues to reject him.

Sonnet #11-2

Elizabeth Barrett Browning's
Sonnets from the Portuguese
Sonnet 11

AND there if to love can be desert,
I am not all unworthy. Cheeks as pale
As these you see, and trembling knees that fail
To bear the burden of a heavy heart,--
This weary minstrel-life that once was girt
To climb Aornus, and can scarce avail
To pipe now 'gainst the valley nightingale
A melancholy music,--why advert
To these things? O Beloved, it is plain
I am not of thy worth nor for thy place!
And yet, because I love thee, I obtain
From that same love this vindicating grace
To live on still in love, and yet in vain,--
To bless thee, yet renounce thee to thy face.

To climb Aornus and can scarce avail to pipe
now 'gainst the valley nightingale.

In memory of Austin Moore

Gift of Mr. & Mrs. Charles R. Moore