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Robert Browning
1812-1889

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Meeting at night
Parting at Morning
Pippa's Song
Confession

 



" "

SUMMUM BONUM
 

SUMMUM BONUM

All the breath and the blossom of the year in the bag of one bee:
All the wonder and wealth ofthe mine in the heart of the gem:
In the core of one pearl all the shade and the shine of the sea:
Breath and bloom, shade and shine, - wonder, wealth, and how far above them -
Truth, that's brighter than gem -,
Trust, that's purer than pearl, -
Brightest truth, purest trust in the universe -
All were for me in the kiss of one girl.


Meeting at night

THE gray sea and the long black land;
And the yellow half-moon large and low;
And the startled little waves that leap
In fiery ringlets from their sleep,
As I gain the cove with pushing prow,
And quench its speed i' the slushy sand.
 
Then a mile of warm sea-scented beach;
Three fields to cross till a farm appears;
A tap at the pane, the quick sharp scratch
And blue spurt of a lighted match,
And a voice less loud, through its joys and fears,
Than the two hearts beating each to each!

Parting at Morning

ROUND the cape of a sudden came the sea,
And the sun looked over the mountain's rim:
And straight was the path of gold for him,
And the need of a world of men for me.

Pippa's Song

from Pippa Passes

THE year's at the spring,
And day's at the morn;
Morning's at seven;
The hill-side's dew-pearl'd;
The lark's on the wing;
The snail's on the thorn;
God's in His heaven--
All's right with the world!

Confession

1 What is he buzzing in my ears?
2 "Now that I come to die,
3 Do I view the world as a vale of tears?"
4 Ah, reverend sir, not I!

5 What I viewed there once, what I view again
6 Where the physic bottles stand
7 On the table's edge,--is a suburb lane,
8 With a wall to my bedside hand.

9 That lane sloped, much as the bottles do,
10 From a house you could descry
11 O'er the garden-wall; is the curtain blue
12 Or green to a healthy eye?

13 To mine, it serves for the old June weather
14 Blue above lane and wall;
15 And that farthest bottle labelled "Ether"
16 Is the house o'ertopping all.

17 At a terrace, somewhere near the stopper,
18 There watched for me, one June,
19 A girl: I know, sir, it's improper,
20 My poor mind's out of tune.

21 Only, there was a way... you crept
22 Close by the side, to dodge
23 Eyes in the house, two eyes except:
24 They styled their house "The Lodge."

25 What right had a lounger up their lane?
26 But, by creeping very close,
27 With the good wall's help,--their eyes might strain
28 And stretch themselves to Oes,

29 Yet never catch her and me together,
30 As she left the attic, there,
31 By the rim of the bottle labelled "Ether,"
32 And stole from stair to stair,

33 And stood by the rose-wreathed gate. Alas,
34 We loved, sir--used to meet:
35 How sad and bad and mad it was--
36 But then, how it was sweet!


The Poetry Archives - Robert Browning (1812-1889)

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Robert Browning


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