I Thought How Once Theocritus Had Sung
By Elizabeth Barrett Browning
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I Thought How Once Theocritus Had Sung
By Elizabeth Barrett Browning
(1806-1861)

I thought how once Theocritus had sung
Of the sweet years, the dear and wish’d-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. Straightway 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.”

 

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Painting by Mary T. Hoffman - God's Creation in Art

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