Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Excerpt

As green as any privet-hedge a bird Might choose to build in was the tower room where the child Elizabeth Barrett sat and poetized. Delicately poised on the window-seat with the sun dimly penetrating the stained glass panes, the little poet composed her first great works. The honeysuckle vines embraced the casement, the green curtains tempered the colored lights that danced on green carpet and green-draped bed, and the dreamy child with curls falling over her serious face leaned against the green wall as she guided her pencil over a tiny slip of paper. Thus early was the poet enshrined; thus early was she set apart and taught to think of herself as an interesting individual.

Hope End, her father's estate, was sufficiently lordly for a setting. It lay in a small valley surrounded by hills of moderate eminence; and the house was set behind stiffly ornamented ponds. The Deer Park on the mounds was carefully wooded; and there had been a conscious attempt to create "scenery." The house itself was startling; instead of a weathered English house blending with its surroundings, there rose up an immense Alladin's palace, an Arabian Nights' dream of domes and turrets crowned with metal spires and crescents, stained glass windows, grills, and fretwork balconies.

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