Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Dazzling love, unexpected saviour
Of a soul marked for death beneath imperial rule,
The tender path ahead, clear as a vestal
Who binds the heart of a rose to the essence of summer.
The epistolary song of a discomposed hand, boldly
Telling of the paradise of luminous embraces
In accents purer than the prayers of a saint
And the music of an angel lost in the night!
Thus joy arrives by pushing through the door
Of lips turning pale bruised by the modesty
Of the sorrowful winter which crystallises the fear
Within a suffering breast carried away by vertigo!
But captured by the fire of sublime feelings
She becomes terror, mountain, sky, abyss!
Translated from the French of Athanase Vantchev de Thracy by Norton Hodges