Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A VALEDICTION, by ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

A VALEDICTION, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: God be with thee, my beloved - god be with thee!
Last Line: May god love thee, my beloved, -- may god love thee!
Subject(s): Religion; Theology

GOD be with thee, my beloved, -- GOD be with thee!
Else alone thou goest forth,
Thy face unto the north,
Moor and pleasance all around thee and beneath thee
Looking equal in one snow;
While I, who try to reach thee,
Vainly follow, vainly follow
With the farewell and the hollo,
And cannot reach thee so.
Alas, I can but teach thee!
GOD be with thee, my beloved, -- GOD be with thee!


Can I teach thee, my beloved, -- can teach thee?
If I said, 'Go left or right,'
The counsel would be light,
The wisdom, poor of all that could enrich thee;
My right would show like left;
My raising would depress thee,
My choice of light would blind thee,
Of way -- would leave behind thee,
Of end -- would leave bereft.
Alas, I can but bless thee!
May GOD teach thee, my beloved, -- may GOD teach thee!


Can I bless thee, my beloved, -- can I bless thee?
What blessing word can I
From mine own tears keep dry?
What flowers grow in my field wherewith to dress thee?
My good reverts to ill;
My calmnesses would move thee,
My softnesses would prick thee,
My bindings up would break thee,
My crownings curse and kill.
Alas, I can but love thee!
May GOD bless thee, my beloved, -- may God bless thee!


Can I love thee, my beloved, -- can I love thee?
And is this like love, to stand
With no help in my hand,
When strong as death I fain would watch above thee?
My love-kiss can deny
No tear that falls beneath it;
Mine oath of love can swear thee
From no ill that comes near thee,
And thou diest while I breathe it,
And I -- I can but die!
May GOD love thee, my beloved, -- may GOD love thee!

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