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    Beloved, my Beloved

    by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
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    [Sonnet XX from Sonnets from the Portuguese (1850)]

    Beloved, my Beloved, when I think
    That thou wast in the world a year ago,
    What time I sat alone here in the snow
    And saw no footprint, heard the silence sink
    No moment at thy voice, but, link by link,
    Went counting all my chains as if that so
    They never could fall off at any blow
    Struck by thy possible hand,--why, thus I drink
    Of life's great cup of wonder! Wonderful,
    Never to feel thee thrill the day or night
    With personal act or speech,--nor ever cull
    Some prescience of thee with the blossoms white
    Thou sawest growing! Atheists are as dull,
    Who cannot guess God's presence out of sight.
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