English Poet, Wife of Robert Browning
Elizabeth Browning, fully Elizabeth Barrett Browning
English Poet, Wife of Robert Browning
You smell a rose through a fence: if two should smell it, what matter?
You take a pink, you dig about its roots and water it, and so improve it to a garden-pink, but will not change it to a heliotrope.
You were made perfectly to be loved - and surely I have loved you, in the idea of you, my whole life long.
With stammering lips and insufficient sound I strive and struggle to deliver right the music of my nature.
Women know the way to rear up children (to be just); they know a simple, merry, tender knack of tying sashes, fitting baby-shoes, and stringing pretty words that make no sense, and kissing full sense into empty words; which things are corals to cut life upon, although such trifles.
World's use is cold, world's love is vain, world's cruelty is bitter bane; but pain is not the fruit of pain.
Worn, gray olive-woods, which seem the fittest foliage for a dream.
Yes, I answered you last night, No, this morning, Sir, I say. Colours seen by candle-light, will not look the same by day.
Yet half the beast is the great god Pan, to laugh, as he sits by the river, making a poet out of a man. The true gods sigh for the cost and the pain-- for the reed that grows never more again as a reed with the reeds of the river.
Yet here's eglantine, here's ivy!--take them as I used to do thy flowers, and keep them where they shall not pine. Instruct thine eyes to keep their colours true, and tell thy soul their roots are left in mine.
Yet, love, mere love, is beautiful indeed and worthy of acceptation. Fire is bright, let temple burn, or flax; an equal light leaps in the flame from cedar-plank or weed: and love is fire. And when I say at need I love thee ... mark! ... I love thee -- in thy sight I stand transfigured, glorified aright, with conscience of the new rays that proceed out of my face toward thine. There's nothing low in love, when love the lowest: meanest creatures who love God, God accepts while loving so. And what I feel, across the inferior features of what I am, doth flash itself, and show how that great work of Love enhances Nature's.
You believe in God, for your part?--that He who makes can make good things from ill things, best from worst, as men plant tulips upon dunghills when they wish them finest.
You forget too much that every creature, female as the male, stands single in responsible act and thought, as also in birth and death.
How joyously the young sea-mew lay dreaming on the waters blue, whereon our little bark had thrown a little shade, the only one; but shadows ever man pursue.
I saw, in gradual vision through my tears, the sweet, sad years, the melancholy years, those of my own life, who by turns had flung a shadow across me.
In this abundant earth no doubt is little room for things worn out: disdain them, break them, throw them by! And if before the days grew rough we once were lov'd, us'd -- well enough, I think, we've far'd, my heart and I.
Man, the two-fold creature, apprehends the two-fold manner, in and outwardly, and nothing in the world comes single to him. A mere itself, â€” cup, column, or candlestick, all patterns of what shall be in the Mount; the whole temporal show related royally, and build up to eterne significance through the open arms of God.
O brave poets, keep back nothing; nor mix falsehood with the whole! Look up Godward! speak the truth in worthy song from earnest soul! Hold, in high poetic duty, truest Truth the fairest Beauty.
Pray, pray, thou who also weepest,-- and the drops will slacken so; weep, weep--and the watch thou keepest, with a quicker count will go. Think,--the shadow on the dial for the nature most undone, marks the passing of the trial, proves the presence of the sun.
Thank God for grace, Ye who weep only! If, as some have done, Ye grope tear-blinded in a desert place and touch but tombs,--look up! Those tears will run soon in long rivers down the lifted face, and leave the vision clear for stars and sun.