If I Leave All For Thee

(1991)

"If I Leave All For Thee" is the fourth song of Libby Larsen's cycle Sonnets From the Portuguese, which sets the text of Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

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The audio for "If I Leave All For Thee" and "How Do I Love Thee," provided in the media player to the right, is made possible through a collaboration between the Hampsong Foundation and SongFest. The performers are Anne Jennifer Nash, soprano, and Donna Loewy, piano, and this performance took place at Pepperdine University at SongFest 2010. To listen, please click on the track name itself.

XXXV. "If I leave all for thee, wilt thou exchange..."
by Elizabeth Barrett Browning


If I leave all for thee, wilt thou exchange
And be all to me? Shall I never miss
Home-talk and blessing and the common kiss
That comes to each in turn, nor count it strange,
When I look up, to drop on a new range
Of walls and floors, another home than this?
Nay, wilt thou fill that place by me which is
Filled by dead eyes too tender to know change?
That's hardest. If to conquer love, has tried,
To conquer grief, tries more, as all things prove;
For grief indeed is love and grief beside.
Alas, I have grieved so I am hard to love.
Yet love me---wilt thou? Open thine heart wide,
And fold within, the wet wings of thy dove.


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