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Poem Title:  Sonnet VIII - What Can I Give Thee Back

Poem Category:  Sonnets

Poet:  Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Poet Biography: 
Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861) was born into a well off Victorian family. She displayed an early interest in a variety of literary projects and produced a variety of poems and sonnets.



Poem: 
Sonnets from the Portuguese

VIII

What can I give thee back, O liberal
And princely giver, who hast brought the gold
And purple of thine heart, unstained, untold,
And laid them on the outside of the wall
For such as I to take or leave withal,
In unexpected largesse? am I cold,
Ungrateful, that for these most manifold
High gifts, I render nothing back at all?
Not so; not cold,--but very poor instead.
Ask God who knows. For frequent tears have run
The colours from my life, and left so dead
And pale a stuff, it were not fitly done
To give the same as pillow to thy head.
Go farther! let it serve to trample on.


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