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Poem by Elizabeth Barrett-Browning


Pain in Pleasure


A THOUGHT ay like a flower upon mine heart,
And drew around it other thoughts like bees
For multitude and thirst of sweetnesses;
Whereat rejoicing, I desired the art
Of the Greek whistler, who to wharf and mart
Could lure those insect swarms from orange-trees
That I might hive with me such thoughts and please
My soul so, always. foolish counterpart
Of a weak man's vain wishes ! While I spoke,
The thought I called a flower grew nettle-rough
The thoughts, called bees, stung me to festering:
Oh, entertain (cried Reason as she woke)
Your best and gladdest thoughts but long enough,
And they will all prove sad enough to sting! 



Elizabeth Barrett-Browning


Elizabeth Barrett-Browning's other poems:
  1. Sonnets from the Portuguese. 20. Belovëd, my Belovëd, when I think
  2. Sonnets from the portuguese. 31. Thou comest! all is said without a word
  3. Sonnets from the Portuguese. 12. Indeed this very love which is my boast
  4. Sonnets from the Portuguese. 18. I never gave a lock of hair away
  5. A Year's Spinning


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