The Best Thing in the World/ poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

What’s the best thing in the world?
June-rose, by May-dew impearled;
Sweet south wind that means no rain;
Truth, not cruel to a friend;
Pleasure, not in haste to end;
Beauty, not self-decked and curled
Till its pride is over plain;
Light, that never makes you wink;
Memory, that gives no pain;
Love, when, so, you’re loved again.
What’s the best thing in the world?
—Something out of it, I think.


Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861) is acknowledged as of the great poets of the English language. She’s known for many works, chief among them “Sonnets from the Portuguese” and the often-quoted Sonnet 43, “How Do I Love Thee?” She was active the abolition of slavery and the rights of children and was influential in the writings of Edgar Allen Poe, Emily Dickenson as well as contemporary poets.

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