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Where the apple reddens

Never pry
Lest we lose our Edens,
Eve and I.

20 Be a god and hold me

With a charm !
Be a man and fold me

With thine arm !
Teach me, only teach, Love !

25
As I ought
I will speak thy speech, Love,

Think thy thought-
Meet, if thou require it,
Both demands,

30 Laying flesh and spirit

In thy hands.
That shall be to-morrow

Not to-night :
I must bury sorrow

35
Out of sight :
-Must a little weep, Love,

(Foolish me!)
And so fall asleep, Love,
Loved by thee.

40 R. BROWNING,

345

LIFE IN A LOVE

Escape me?
Never-

Beloved !
While I am I, and you are you,

So long as the world contains us both,

Me the loving and you the loath,
While the one eludes, must the other pursue.
My life is a fault at last, I fear :

5

It seems too much like a fate, indeed !

Though I do my best I shall scarce succeed. 10 But what if I fail of my purpose here ? It is but to keep the nerves at strain,

To dry one's eyes and laugh at a fall, And baffled, get up and begin again,

So the chace takes up one's life, that's all. While, look but once from your farthest bound

At me so deep in the dust and dark,
No sooner the old hope goes to ground
Than a new one, straight to the selfsame mark,

I shape me
Ever
Removed !

R. BROWNING.

15

20

346

A GRAMMARIAN'S FUNERAL

SHORTLY AFTER THE REVIVAL OF LEARNING

IN EUROPE

5

Let us begin and carry up this corpse,

Singing together.
Leave we the common crofts, the vulgar thorpes,

Each in its tether
Sleeping safe on the bosom of the plain,

Cared-for till cock-crow :
Look out if yonder be not day again

Rimming the rock-row !
That's the appropriate country ; there, man's

thought,

Rarer, intenser,
Self-gathered for an outbreak, as it ought,

Chafes in the censer.
Leave we the unlettered plain its herd and crop ;

Seek we sepulture
On a tall mountain, citied to the top,

Crowded with culture !
All the peaks soar, but one the rest excels;

Clouds overcome it ;

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15

20

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30

36

No, yonder sparkle is the citadel's

Circling its summit.
Thither our path lies ; wind we up the heights :

Wait ye the warning ?
Our low life was the level's and the night's ;

He's for the morning.
Step to a tune, square chests, erect each head, 25

'Ware the beholders ! This is our master, famous, calm, and dead,

Borne on our shoulders.
Sleep, crop and herd! sleep, darkling thorpeand croft,

Safe from the weather !
He, whom we convoy to his grave aloft,

Singing together,
He was a man born with thy face and throat,

Lyric Apollo !
Long he lived nameless: how should spring take note

Winter would follow ?
Till lo, the little touch, and youth was gone !

Cramped and diminished,
Moaned he, 'New measures, other feet anon!

My dance is finished'?
No, that's the world's way: (keep the mountain-side,

Make for the city!) He knew the signal, and stepped on with pride

Over men's pity ; Left play for work, and grappled with the world

Bent on escaping : 'What's in thescroll,' quoth he, thou keepest furled ?

Show me their shaping, Theirs, who most studied man, the bard and sage,

Give ! 'So, he gowned him, Straight got by heart that book to its last page :

Learned, we found him. Yea, but we found him bald too, eyes like lead,

Accents uncertain : • Time to taste life,' another would have said,

Up with the curtain !? This man said rather, “ Actual life comes next?

Patience a moment !

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50

55 60

Grant I have mastered learning's crabbed text,

Still, there 's the comment.
Let me know all ! Prate not of most or least,

Painful or easy !
Even to the crumbs I'd fain eat up the feast,

Aye, nor feel queasy.
Oh, such a life as he resolved to live,

65 When he had learned it, When he had gathered all books had to give !

Sooner, he spurned it.
Image the whole, then execute the parts

Fancy the fabric
Quite, ere you build, ere steel strike fire from quartz,

Ere mortar dab brick !

70

73

80

(Here's the town-gate reached: there's the market

place

Gaping before us.)
Yea, this in him was the peculiar grace

(Hearten our chorus !)
That before living he'd learn how to live-

No end to learning :
Earn the means first-God surely will contrive

Use for our earning.
Others mistrust and say, “But time escapes :

Live now or never !'
Hesaid, “What's time? leave Now for dogs and apes!

Man has Forever.' Back to his book then : deeper drooped his head : Calculus racked him :

86 Leaden before, his eyes grew dross of lead :

Tussis attacked him. · Now, master, take a little rest!'-not he !

a
(Caution redoubled,
Step two a-breast, the way winds narrowly !)

Not a whit troubled,
Back to his studies, fresher than at first,

Fierce as a dragon
He (soul-hydroptic with a sacred thirst)

Sucked at the flagon.

90

95 100

105

Oh, if we draw a circle premature,

Heedless of far gain,
Greedy for quick returns of profit, sure,

Bad is our bargain !
Was it not great ? did not he throw on God,

(He loves the burthen)
God's task to make the heavenly period

Perfect the earthen ?
Did not he magnify the mind, show clear

Just what it all meant ?
He would not discount life, as fools do here,

Paid by instalment.
He ventured neck or nothing-heaven's success
Found, or earth's failure :

110 Wilt thou trust death or not?' He answered 'Yes!

Hence with life's pale lure !'
That low man seeks a little thing to do,

Sees it and does it :
This high man, with a great thing to pursue, 115

Dies ere he knows it.
That low man goes on adding one to one,

His hundred 's soon hit:
This high man, aiming at a million,
Misses an unit.

120 That, has the world here-should he need the next,

Let the world mind him !
This, throws himself on God, and unperplexed

Seeking shall find him.
So, with the throttling hands of death at strife,
Ground he at grammar ;

126 Still, thro’ the rattle, parts of speech were rife :

While he could stammer
He settled Hoti's business-let it be !-
Properly based Oun-

130 Gave us the doctrine of the enclitic De,

Dead from the waist down.
Well, here's the platform, here's the proper place:

Hail to your purlieus,
All ye highfliers of the feathered race,

135 Swallows and curlews!

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