I have a lovely book about Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s life. It contains snippets of her letters to friends and, of course, the romance by letter with Robert Browning. Authored by Joanna Richardson, it is a lovely slim book (at least my Folio Society version is…) that takes you through her sad childhood, that amazing transformation in her 30’s when she met Robert, all the way through to her death.
It is an incredible story, really. And their letters are full of that language of love, emoted by the amazing words they were mutually gifted with. Here’s a snippet of her work – just a piece of a longer work and yet it can stand on its own. So well did she compose…Happy Birthday, m’dear!
My Heart And I
You see we’re tired, my heart and I.
We dealt with books, we trusted men,
And in our own blood drenched the pen,
As if such colours could not fly.
We walked too straight for fortune’s end,
We loved too true to keep a friend ;
At last we’re tired, my heart and I.