Sonnet XXIII

(1999)

"Sonnet XXIII" is the third and final song of Antonio Carlos Defeo's song cycle Three Simple Songs. The song sets the poetry of Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

Sonnet XXIII
by Elizabeth Barrett Browning


Is it indeed so? If I lay here dead
Is it indeed so? If I lay here dead,
Wouldst thou miss any life in losing mine?
And would the sun for thee more coldly shine
Because of grave-damps falling round my head?
I marvelled, my Beloved, when I read
Thy thought so in the letter. I am thine -
But... so much to thee? Can I pour thy wine
While my hands tremble? Then my soul, instead
Of dreams of death, resumes life's lower range.
Then, love me, Love! look on me--breathe on me!
As brighter ladies do not count it strange,
For love, to give up acres and degree,
I yield the grave for thy sake, and exchange
My near sweet view of heaven, for earth with thee!


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