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Contents > Author > Elizabeth Barrett Browning > Can it be right to give what I can give? 1806- 1861
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Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Can it be right to give what I can give?
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Sonnets from the Portuguese IX

Can it be right to give what I can give?
To let thee sit beneath the fall of tears
As salt as mine, and hear the sighing years
Re-sighing on my lips renunciative
Through those infrequent smiles which fail to live
For all thy adjurations? O my fears,
That this can scarce be right! We are not peers,
So to be lovers; and I own, and grieve,
That givers of such gifts as mine are, must
Be counted with the ungenerous. Out, alas!
I will not soil thy purple with my dust,
Nor breathe my poison on thy Venice-glass,
Nor give thee any love, which were unjust.
Beloved, I only love thee! let it pass.
 

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