"God Keeps A Niche In Heaven To Hold Our Idols"
Context: This sonnet is typical of Elizabeth Barrett Browning in that it reflects her theme of social consciousness. In beginning the poem "O beloved voices," she is addressing the people who have already died or broken off "in the middle of that song we sang together softly." These people with whom she "sang" are those who tried, along with Mrs. Browning, "to enrich the poor world with the sense of love." Though these companions have now died, the poetess reaffirms her faith in an afterlife and in the fact that she will meet her "idols" in heaven. She goes on to state that these "idols" will be especially recognized by God and "glorified."
And O belovèd voices, upon whichOurs passionately call, because ere-longYe brake off in the middle of that songWe sang together softly, to enrichThe poor world with the sense of love, and witchThe heart out of things evil,–I am strong,Knowing ye are not lost for aye amongThe hills with last year's thrush. God keeps a nicheIn heaven to hold our idols; and albeitHe brake them to our faces, and deniedThat our close kisses should impair their white,I know we shall behold them raised, complete,The dust swept from their beauty,–glorifiedNew Memnons singing in the great God-light.