SONNETS FROM THE PORTUGUESE
I lived with visions for my company
Instead of men and women, years ago,
And found them gentle mates, nor thought to know
A sweeter music than they played to me.
But soon their trailing purple was not free
Of this world's dust,-- their lutes did silent grow,
And I myself grew faint and blind below
Their vanishing eyes. Then THOU didst come . . . to be,
Beloved, what they seemed. Their shining fronts,
Their songs, their splendours . . . (better, yet the same . . .
As river-water hallowed into fonts . . . )
Met in thee, and from out thee overcame
My soul with satisfaction of all wants--
Because God's gifts put man's best dreams to shame.