SONNETS FROM THE PORTUGUESE

SONNET 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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