Sonnets from the Portuguese: XXXII

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The first time that the sun rose on thine oathTo love me, I looked forward to the moonTo slacken all those bonds which seemed too soonAnd quickly tied to make a lasting troth.Quick-loving hearts, I thought, may quickly loathe;And, looking on myself, I seemed not oneFor such man's love!-more like an out-of-tuneWorn viol, a good singer would be wrothTo spoil his song with, and which, snatched in haste,Is laid down at the first ill-sounding note.I did not wrong myself so, but I placedA wrong on thee. For perfect strains may float'Neath master-hands, from instruments defaced,-And great souls, at one stroke, may do and doat.

© Elizabeth Barrett Browning