To Bettine

has 4 versions
Index of texts
X Bibliographic Information

To Bettine

Original Source

Poems (1856) Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Publication Details:

Published by Chapman & Hall.

London 1856

Witness List

  • Witness poems1856: Poems, 4th Ed. 1856
  • Witness poems1850: Poems, 2nd Ed. 1850
  • Witness poems1853: Poems, 3rd Ed. 1853
  • Witness seraphim1838: Seraphim, 1838

Electronic Edition Information:

Responsibility Statement:
  • Compiled by Dr. Sandra Donaldson
  • Encoded by Emily Mell
  • Funding provided by University of North Dakota and National Endowment for the Humanities
Publication Details:

Published by University of North Dakota.

Grand Forks, North Dakota

Available for academic purposes only

Permission for additional use should be sought from the Director of the Chester Fritz Library, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, North Dakota 58202

March 9, 2015

Encoding Principles

This project aims to make accurate texts of and critical apparatus for the literary works of Elizabeth Barrett Browning available to scholars, teachers, and students.

Only texts that Elizabeth Barrett Browning oversaw in her lifetime will be included in this collection.

XWitness
TO BETTINE, TO BETTINE, TO BETTINE,
the child-friend of Goethe. the child-friend of Goethe. the child-friend of Goethe.
"I have the second sight, Goethe!"—Letters of a Child. "I have the second sight, Goëthe!" "I have the second sight, Goethe!"—Letters of a Child. "I have the second sight, Goethe!"—Letters of a Child.
Her Letters.
i. i. i.
Bettine, friend of Goethe, Our Goëthe's friend, Bettine, Bettine, friend of Goethe, Bettine, friend of Goethe,
Hadst thou the second sight- Hadst thou the second sight— Hadst thou the second sight— Hadst thou the second sight—
Upturning worship and delight Upturning worship and delight, Upturning worship and delight, Upturning worship and delight
With such a loving duty So lovingly and sheenly, With such a loving duty, With such a loving duty
To his grand face, as women will, Toward his face, as women will; To his grand face, as women will, To his grand face, as women will,
The childhood ’neath thine eyelids still?

The childhood 'neath thine eyelids still?

The childhood ’neath thine eyelids still?

The childhood 'neath thine eyelids still?

ii. ii. ii.
Before his shrine to doom thee Before his shrine to doom thee, Before his shrine to doom thee, Before his shrine to doom thee
Using the same child’s smile Using the same child's smile, Using the same child’s smile, Using the same child's smile
That heaven and earth, beheld erewhile That heav'n and earth, beheld erewhile That heaven and earth, beheld erewhile That heaven and earth, beheld erewhile
For the first time, won from thee, For the first time, won from thee; For the first time, won from thee, For the first time, won from thee,
Ere star and flower grew dim and dead, Ere star and flower grew dim and dead, Ere star and flower grew dim and dead, Ere star and flower grew dim and dead,
Save at his feet and o’er his head?

Save at his feet, and o'er his head!

Save at his feet, and o’er his head.

Save at his feet and o'er his head.

iii. iii. iii.
Digging thine heart and throwing Digging thine heart and throwing Digging thine heart and throwing Digging thine heart and throwing
Away its childhood’s gold, Away its childhood's gold; Away its childhood’s gold, Away its childhood's gold,
That so its woman-depth might hold That so its woman-depth might hold That so its woman-depth might hold That so its woman-depth might hold
His spirit’s overflowing. His spirit's overflowing! His spirit’s overflowing. His spirit's overflowing.
For surging souls, no worlds can bound, For surging souls no worlds can bound, For surging souls, no worlds can bound, For surging souls, no worlds can bound,
Their channel in the heart have found.

Their channel in the heart have found.

Their channel in the heart have found.

Their channel in the heart have found.

iv. iv. iv.
O child, to change appointed, O child, to change appointed, O child, to change appointed, O child, to change appointed,
Thou hadst not second sight! Thou hadst not second sight! Thou hadst not second sight! Thou hadst not second sight!
What eyes the future view aright, What eyes the future view aright, What eyes the future view aright, What eyes the future view aright,
Unless by tears anointed? Unless by tears anointed?— Unless by tears anointed? Unless by tears anointed?
Yea, only tears themselves can show Yea! only tears themselves can show Yea, only tears themselves can show Yea, only tears themselves can show
The burning ones that have to flow.

The burning ones that yet shall flow.

The burning ones that have to flow.

The burning ones that have to flow.

v. v v.
O woman, deeply loving, O woman, deeply loving, O woman, deeply loving, O woman, deeply loving,
Thou hadst not second sight! Thou hadst not second sight! Thou hadst not second sight! Thou hadst not second sight!
The star is very high and bright, The star is very high and bright, The star is very high and bright, The star is very high and bright,
And none can see it moving. And none can see it moving. And none can see it moving. And none can see it moving.
Love looks around, below, above, Love looks around, below, above, Love looks around, below, above, Love looks around, below, above,
Yet all his prophecy is – love.

Yet all his prophecy is—love.

Yet all his prophecy is—love.

Yet all his prophecy is—love.

O changing child and woman,
Thou hadst not second sight!
Or bending down thy forehead white,
The human to the human,
The idol's shadow would have made
Its light to vanish like a shade.

Thy spirit was foreknowing
Change to the patriot dead;*n
Note: The patriot Tyrolese.
The changing of their battle bed
For meadows ever blowing;—
But ne'er a vision didst thou see
Of death and change to him and thee!

Our Goëthe's friend, Bettine!
What chanceth with thee now?
The funeral stone is on his brow,
The funeral earth between ye!
And, haply, he who left the sun,
For thee hath left a funeral one.

I never shall behold thee—
Thou hast the stranger's face!
Thy smile may keep its ancient place,
And living loves enfold thee;
Yet dost thou change, as others must,
Whose souls have been baptized in dust.

[55]I ween, thy smile is graver—
Paler thy cheek, I ween:
For thou the mystic sight hast seen,
Which maketh quail the braver—
The crowned and loved go naked down,
Without the love, without the crown!

vi. vi. vi.
The bird thy childhood’s playing The bird thy childhood's playing The bird thy childhood’s playing The bird thy childhood's playing
Sent onward o’er the sea, Sent onward o'er the sea, Sent onward o’er the sea, Sent onward o'er the sea,
Thy dove of hope came back to thee Thy dove of hope, came back to thee Thy dove of hope, came back to thee Thy dove of hope, came back to thee
Without a leaf. Art laying Without a leaf. Art laying Without a leaf. Art laying Without a leaf. Art laying
Its wet cold wing no sun can dry, Its wet cold wing, no sun can dry, Its wet cold wing, no sun can dry, Its wet cold wing no sun can dry,
Still in thy bosom secretly?

Still in thy bosom, secretly?—

Still in thy bosom, secretly?

Still in thy bosom secretly?

Or hast thou found another;
With plumes thy God hath given,
To leave the wave and meet in heaven
(As brother meeteth brother)
Th' eternal Dove who downward flings
His glory on its mounting wings?

Such glory rest upon thee,
Our Goëthe's changëd friend!
For earth's, that cometh to an end,
Hath faded and foregone thee—
And thou, the worshipper, hast spread
Thine idol's ashes o'er thine head!

vii. vii. vii.
Our Goethe’s friend, Bettine, Our Goethe’s friend, Bettine, Our Goethe's friend, Bettine,
I have the second sight! I have the second sight! I have the second sight!
The stone upon his grave is white, The stone upon his grave is white, The stone upon his grave is white,
The funeral stone between ye; The funeral stone between ye; The funeral stone between ye;
And in thy mirror thou hast viewed And in thy mirror thou hast viewed And in thy mirror thou hast viewed
Some change as hardly understood.

Some change as hardly understood.

Some change as hardly understood.

viii. viii. viii.
Where’s childhood? where is Goethe? Where’s childhood? where is Goethe? Where's childhood? where is Goethe?
The tears are in thine eyes. The tears are in thine eyes. The tears are in thine eyes.
Nay, thou shalt yet reorganise Nay, thou shalt yet reorganise Nay, thou shalt yet reorganise
Thy maidenhood of beauty Thy maidenhood of beauty Thy maidenhood of beauty
In his own glory, which is smooth In his own glory, which is smooth In his own glory, which is smooth
Of wrinkles and sublime in youth.

Of wrinkles, and sublime in youth.

Of wrinkles and sublime in youth.

ix. ix. ix.
The poet’s arms have wound thee, The poet’s arms have wound thee, The poet's arms have wound thee,
He breathes upon thy brow, He breathes upon thy brow, He breathes upon thy brow,
He lifts thee upward in the glow He lifts thee upward in the glow He lifts thee upward in the glow
Of his great genius round thee, – Of his great genius round thee,— Of his great genius round thee,—
The childlike poet undefiled The childlike poet undefiled The childlike poet undefiled
Preserving evermore The Child.

Preserving evermore The Child.

Preserving evermore The Child.

Text Poems (1856), vol. 2, pp. 199-201. Text: The Seraphim, and Other Poems (1838), pp. 265-70. Text: Poems (1850), vol. 2, pp. 199-201. TextPoems (1853), vol. 2, pp. 199-201.
*The patriot Tyrolese. [EBB's note]
XWitness
TO BETTINE, TO BETTINE, TO BETTINE,
the child-friend of Goethe. the child-friend of Goethe. the child-friend of Goethe.
"I have the second sight, Goethe!"—Letters of a Child. "I have the second sight, Goëthe!" "I have the second sight, Goethe!"—Letters of a Child. "I have the second sight, Goethe!"—Letters of a Child.
Her Letters.
i. i. i.
Bettine, friend of Goethe, Our Goëthe's friend, Bettine, Bettine, friend of Goethe, Bettine, friend of Goethe,
Hadst thou the second sight- Hadst thou the second sight— Hadst thou the second sight— Hadst thou the second sight—
Upturning worship and delight Upturning worship and delight, Upturning worship and delight, Upturning worship and delight
With such a loving duty So lovingly and sheenly, With such a loving duty, With such a loving duty
To his grand face, as women will, Toward his face, as women will; To his grand face, as women will, To his grand face, as women will,
The childhood ’neath thine eyelids still?

The childhood 'neath thine eyelids still?

The childhood ’neath thine eyelids still?

The childhood 'neath thine eyelids still?

ii. ii. ii.
Before his shrine to doom thee Before his shrine to doom thee, Before his shrine to doom thee, Before his shrine to doom thee
Using the same child’s smile Using the same child's smile, Using the same child’s smile, Using the same child's smile
That heaven and earth, beheld erewhile That heav'n and earth, beheld erewhile That heaven and earth, beheld erewhile That heaven and earth, beheld erewhile
For the first time, won from thee, For the first time, won from thee; For the first time, won from thee, For the first time, won from thee,
Ere star and flower grew dim and dead, Ere star and flower grew dim and dead, Ere star and flower grew dim and dead, Ere star and flower grew dim and dead,
Save at his feet and o’er his head?

Save at his feet, and o'er his head!

Save at his feet, and o’er his head.

Save at his feet and o'er his head.

iii. iii. iii.
Digging thine heart and throwing Digging thine heart and throwing Digging thine heart and throwing Digging thine heart and throwing
Away its childhood’s gold, Away its childhood's gold; Away its childhood’s gold, Away its childhood's gold,
That so its woman-depth might hold That so its woman-depth might hold That so its woman-depth might hold That so its woman-depth might hold
His spirit’s overflowing. His spirit's overflowing! His spirit’s overflowing. His spirit's overflowing.
For surging souls, no worlds can bound, For surging souls no worlds can bound, For surging souls, no worlds can bound, For surging souls, no worlds can bound,
Their channel in the heart have found.

Their channel in the heart have found.

Their channel in the heart have found.

Their channel in the heart have found.

iv. iv. iv.
O child, to change appointed, O child, to change appointed, O child, to change appointed, O child, to change appointed,
Thou hadst not second sight! Thou hadst not second sight! Thou hadst not second sight! Thou hadst not second sight!
What eyes the future view aright, What eyes the future view aright, What eyes the future view aright, What eyes the future view aright,
Unless by tears anointed? Unless by tears anointed?— Unless by tears anointed? Unless by tears anointed?
Yea, only tears themselves can show Yea! only tears themselves can show Yea, only tears themselves can show Yea, only tears themselves can show
The burning ones that have to flow.

The burning ones that yet shall flow.

The burning ones that have to flow.

The burning ones that have to flow.

v. v v.
O woman, deeply loving, O woman, deeply loving, O woman, deeply loving, O woman, deeply loving,
Thou hadst not second sight! Thou hadst not second sight! Thou hadst not second sight! Thou hadst not second sight!
The star is very high and bright, The star is very high and bright, The star is very high and bright, The star is very high and bright,
And none can see it moving. And none can see it moving. And none can see it moving. And none can see it moving.
Love looks around, below, above, Love looks around, below, above, Love looks around, below, above, Love looks around, below, above,
Yet all his prophecy is – love.

Yet all his prophecy is—love.

Yet all his prophecy is—love.

Yet all his prophecy is—love.

O changing child and woman,
Thou hadst not second sight!
Or bending down thy forehead white,
The human to the human,
The idol's shadow would have made
Its light to vanish like a shade.

Thy spirit was foreknowing
Change to the patriot dead;*n
Note: The patriot Tyrolese.
The changing of their battle bed
For meadows ever blowing;—
But ne'er a vision didst thou see
Of death and change to him and thee!

Our Goëthe's friend, Bettine!
What chanceth with thee now?
The funeral stone is on his brow,
The funeral earth between ye!
And, haply, he who left the sun,
For thee hath left a funeral one.

I never shall behold thee—
Thou hast the stranger's face!
Thy smile may keep its ancient place,
And living loves enfold thee;
Yet dost thou change, as others must,
Whose souls have been baptized in dust.

[55]I ween, thy smile is graver—
Paler thy cheek, I ween:
For thou the mystic sight hast seen,
Which maketh quail the braver—
The crowned and loved go naked down,
Without the love, without the crown!

vi. vi. vi.
The bird thy childhood’s playing The bird thy childhood's playing The bird thy childhood’s playing The bird thy childhood's playing
Sent onward o’er the sea, Sent onward o'er the sea, Sent onward o’er the sea, Sent onward o'er the sea,
Thy dove of hope came back to thee Thy dove of hope, came back to thee Thy dove of hope, came back to thee Thy dove of hope, came back to thee
Without a leaf. Art laying Without a leaf. Art laying Without a leaf. Art laying Without a leaf. Art laying
Its wet cold wing no sun can dry, Its wet cold wing, no sun can dry, Its wet cold wing, no sun can dry, Its wet cold wing no sun can dry,
Still in thy bosom secretly?

Still in thy bosom, secretly?—

Still in thy bosom, secretly?

Still in thy bosom secretly?

Or hast thou found another;
With plumes thy God hath given,
To leave the wave and meet in heaven
(As brother meeteth brother)
Th' eternal Dove who downward flings
His glory on its mounting wings?

Such glory rest upon thee,
Our Goëthe's changëd friend!
For earth's, that cometh to an end,
Hath faded and foregone thee—
And thou, the worshipper, hast spread
Thine idol's ashes o'er thine head!

vii. vii. vii.
Our Goethe’s friend, Bettine, Our Goethe’s friend, Bettine, Our Goethe's friend, Bettine,
I have the second sight! I have the second sight! I have the second sight!
The stone upon his grave is white, The stone upon his grave is white, The stone upon his grave is white,
The funeral stone between ye; The funeral stone between ye; The funeral stone between ye;
And in thy mirror thou hast viewed And in thy mirror thou hast viewed And in thy mirror thou hast viewed
Some change as hardly understood.

Some change as hardly understood.

Some change as hardly understood.

viii. viii. viii.
Where’s childhood? where is Goethe? Where’s childhood? where is Goethe? Where's childhood? where is Goethe?
The tears are in thine eyes. The tears are in thine eyes. The tears are in thine eyes.
Nay, thou shalt yet reorganise Nay, thou shalt yet reorganise Nay, thou shalt yet reorganise
Thy maidenhood of beauty Thy maidenhood of beauty Thy maidenhood of beauty
In his own glory, which is smooth In his own glory, which is smooth In his own glory, which is smooth
Of wrinkles and sublime in youth.

Of wrinkles, and sublime in youth.

Of wrinkles and sublime in youth.

ix. ix. ix.
The poet’s arms have wound thee, The poet’s arms have wound thee, The poet's arms have wound thee,
He breathes upon thy brow, He breathes upon thy brow, He breathes upon thy brow,
He lifts thee upward in the glow He lifts thee upward in the glow He lifts thee upward in the glow
Of his great genius round thee, – Of his great genius round thee,— Of his great genius round thee,—
The childlike poet undefiled The childlike poet undefiled The childlike poet undefiled
Preserving evermore The Child.

Preserving evermore The Child.

Preserving evermore The Child.

Text Poems (1856), vol. 2, pp. 199-201. Text: The Seraphim, and Other Poems (1838), pp. 265-70. Text: Poems (1850), vol. 2, pp. 199-201. TextPoems (1853), vol. 2, pp. 199-201.
*The patriot Tyrolese. [EBB's note]

Image ViewerX