Sonnets from the Portuguese 24

Let the world’s sharpness, like a clasping knife,

Shut in upon itself and do no harm

In this close hand of Love, now soft and warm,

And let us hear no sound of human strife

After the click of the shutting. Life to life —

I lean upon thee, Dear, without alarm,

And feel as safe as guarded by a charm

Against the stab of worldlings, who if rife

Are weak to injure.     Very whitely still

The lilies of our lives may reassure

Their blossoms from their roots, accessible

Alone to heavenly dews that drop not fewer,

Growing straight, out of man’s reach, on the hill.

God only, who made us rich, can make us poor.

Source: The Poetical Works of Elizabeth Barrett Browning (Houghton Mifflin, 1974)