Poem of the month: December

Sonnets from the Portuguese

by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

I

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. Straightaway 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.”

 

 

Photo: NASA. Soyuz TMA-05M leaves a plasma trail as it re-enters the Earth’s atmosphere on 19 November (18 November US time). The craft was carrying Commander Sunita Williams of Nasa and Flight Engineers Akihiko Hoshide of JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency), and Yuri Malenchenko of Roscosmos (Russian Federal Space Agency). They were returning from a four-month stint on the International Space Stattion. Source: The Guardian.

 

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