Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Accuse me not, beseech thee, that I wear

This sonnet discusses a common theme found in Browning’s other poetry. Like her other sonnets, this one is written in the first-person is centered around the theme of melancholy. It begins with her commanding someone to stop accusing her of appearing sad. In the rest of the poem, the speaker tries to explain why her sorrow is written on her face and in one line uses a beautiful metaphor of “a bee shut in a crystalline.” It appears that her sorrow is fueled by love. Love that is so impossible to escape that it would be “most impossible failure” even if she actually aimed “to fail so.”

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