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Sonnet from Camoens (42).

[Mrs. Browning in “Catarina to Camoens” represents her as bequeathing him the ribbon from her hair; but she in reality gave it to him during her life as a substitute for the ringlet for which he pleaded.]
Lindo e subtil tranqado, que ficaste. Petrarch.

O ribbon fair, that dost with me remain
In pawn for that sweet gift I do deserve,
If but to win thee makes my reason swerve,
What were it if one ringlet I could gain?

Those golden locks thy circling knots restrain,
Locks whose bright rays might well for sun-beams serve,
When thou unloosest each fair coil and curve,
Oh is it to beguile, or slay with pain?

Dear ribbon, in my hand I hold thee now;
And were it only to assuage my grief,
Since I can have thee only, cling to thee,

Yet tell her, thou canst never fill my vow,
But in the reckoning of love's fond belief
This gift for that whole debt a pledge shall be.

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Petrarch (1)
Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1)
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