English Poet, Wife of Robert Browning
Elizabeth Browning, fully Elizabeth Barrett Browning
English Poet, Wife of Robert Browning
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.
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.
I am one who could have forgotten the plague, listening to Boccaccio's stories; and I am not ashamed of it.
I think it frets the saints in heaven to see How many desolate creatures on the earth Have learnt the simple dues of fellowship And social comfort, in a hospital.
It is not at all monstrous in me to say ... that I would rather have such a memorial of one I dearly loved, than the noblest artist's work ever produced.
Men could not part us with their worldly jars, nor the seas change us, nor the tempests bend; our hands would touch for all the mountain-bars,-- and, heaven being rolled between us at the end, we should but vow the faster for the stars.
O rose, who dares to name thee? No longer roseate now, nor soft, nor sweet, but pale, and hard, and dry, as stubblewheat,-- kept seven years in a drawer, thy titles shame thee.
Sacrament of morning.
The Holy Night We sate among the stalls at Bethlehem; The dumb kine from their fodder turning them, Softened their horned faces To almost human gazes Toward the newly Born: The simple shepherds from the star-lit brooks Brought visionary looks, As yet in their astonied hearing rung The strange sweet angel-tongue: The magi of the East, in sandals worn, Knelt reverent, sweeping round, With long pale beards, their gifts upon the ground, The incense, myrrh, and gold These baby hands were impotent to hold: So let all earthlies and celestials wait Upon thy royal state. Sleep, sleep, my kingly One!