When Our Two Souls Stand Up Erect and Strong by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
"When Our Two Souls Stand Up Erect and Strong" is also known as "Sonnet XXII" from the Sonnets From the Portuguese. It reflects on how the lovers' love is so strong that it belongs in heaven, but if it were brought there that it wouldn't seem as great because everything in heaven is great, so their love must remain on earth.
This poem consists of fourteen lines, like most of Browning's Petrachan sonnets. It is also written in iambic pentameter. However, it is not divided up into stanzas, which is common for this type of writing style. It has the rhyme scheme ABBAABBACDCDCD.
When Our Two Souls Stand Up Erect and Strong When our two souls stand up erect and strong, Face to face, silent, drawing nigh and nigher, Until the lengthening wings break into fire At either curved point, -what bitter wrong Can the earth do to us, that we should not long Be here contented? Think. In mounting higher, The angels would press on us, and aspire To drop some golden orb of perfect song Into our deep dear silence. Let us stay Rather on earth, Beloved, where the unfit Contrarious moods of men recoil away And isolate pure spirits, and permit A place to stand and love in for a day, With darkness and the death-hour rounding it. Published in Sonnets From the Portuguese in 1850.
Next: How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways
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Victorian, 19th Century
Sonnet, Love, Religion, Death