My letters! all dead paper, mute and white! And yet they seem alive and quivering Against my tremulous hands which loose the string And let them drop down on my knee tonight. This said—he wished to have me in his sight Once, as a friend: this fixed a day in spring To come and touch my hand. . . a simple thing, Yes I wept for it—this . . . the paper's light. . . Said, Dear, I love thee; and I sank and quailed As if God's future thundered on my past. This said, I am thine—and so its ink has paled With lying at my heart that beat too fast. And this . . . 0 Love, thy words have ill availed If, what this said, I dared repeat at last!
Elizabeth Barrett Browning - 1806-1861
To George Sand: A Desire
Thou large-brained woman and large-hearted man, Self-called George Sand! whose soul, amid the lions Of thy tumultuous senses, moans defiance And answers roar for roar, as spirits can: I would some mild miraculous thunder ran Above the applauded circus, in appliance Of thine own nobler nature's strength and science, Drawing two pinions, white as wings of swan, From thy strong shoulders, to amaze the place With holier light! that thou to woman's claim And man's, mightst join beside the angel's grace Of a pure genius sanctified from blame Till child and maiden pressed to thine embrace To kiss upon thy lips a stainless fame.