Welcome to Poetry in the Evening.
We are connected to nature in ways that cannot be fully understood. Poetry allows us to explore the relationship with the world around us. “Change on Change’ by Elizabeth Barrett Browning is a poem about lost love and change envisioned through the lens of changing seasons.
Love flourished through spring and summer, but when the cooler winds of autumn arrive, there has been a parting, a loss. What is left is the sound of the river and the blush on the poet’s cheeks.
With every transition, we are influenced by the events and experiences that have occurred. As winter comes nearer, the poet recognizes that she is no longer the person of the spring and summer months.
Transitions hold emotional nuances that have a poignancy that brings both sadness for what was, but also joy for what has been gained as we move forward.
I invite you to join me in reciting, Change on Change by Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
Change on Change
By Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Three months ago, the stream did flow,
The lilies bloomed along the edge;
And we were lingering to and fro,—
Where none will track thee in this snow,
Along the stream, beside the hedge.
Ah! sweet, be free to come and go;
For if I do not hear thy foot,
The frozen river is as mute,—
The flowers have dried down to the root;
And why, since these be changed since May,
Shouldst thou change less than they?
And slow, slow as the winter snow,
The tears have drifted to mine eyes;
And my two cheeks, three months ago,
Set blushing at thy praises so,
Put paleness on for a disguise.
Ah! sweet, be free to praise and go;
For if my face is turned to pale,
It was thine oath that first did fail,—
It was thy love proved false and frail!
And why, since these be changed, I trow,
Should I change less than thou?
This poem is in the public domain.