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Sonnet 32 - The first time that the sun rose on thine oath Analysis



Author: poem of Elizabeth Barrett Browning Type: poem Views: 52

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XXXII



The first time that the sun rose on thine oath

To love me, I looked forward to the moon

To slacken all those bonds which seemed too soon

And quickly tied to make a lasting troth.

Quick-loving hearts, I thought, may quickly loathe;

And, looking on myself, I seemed not one

For such man's love!—more like an out-of-tune

Worn viol, a good singer would be wroth

To 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 placed

A wrong on thee. For perfect strains may float

'Neath master-hands, from instruments defaced,—

And great souls, at one stroke, may do and doat.






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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

.: :.

The sonnet is late in the series and is a reflection on the the doubt EBB felt when Browning first loved her - fears for the transience of his emotions have given way to confidence and passion and the belief that Browning\'s \'mastery\' more than compensates for her age and fragility

| Posted on 2012-10-27 | by a guest


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This is about a woman and a man who recently became engaged (the sun rose on thine oath/ to love me). however, the woman is not sure if she should continue the relationship with the man because she thinks she is not good enough for him (looking on myself, I seemed not one/ for such man's love!). The speaker goes on to compare herself to a worn, out of tune instrument, who can only make the man seem like a bad singer. She thinks that after the man "plays" her, he will realize how bad of an instrument she really is. To prevent this, the speaker ends the relationship. But, she says "I did not wrong myself so, but I placed/ a wrong on thee," which is her saying to the man that he isn't the one who broke her heart, she is the one who broke his. Finally, she realizes that the man is a master singer, and can make any instrument sound wonderful. He can make her perfect. "For perfect strains may float/ 'neath master-hands, from instruments defaced."

| Posted on 2009-02-14 | by a guest




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