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'Here and here did England help me: how can I

help England?'-say, Whoso turns as I, this evening, turn to God to

praise and pray, While Jove's planet rises yonder, silent over Africa.

R. Browning

CCCLXXIII

MISCONCEPTIONS
This is a spray the Bird clung to,

Making it blossom with pleasure,
Ere the high tree-top she sprung to,

Fit for her nest and her treasure.

Oh, what a hope beyond measure Was the poor spray's, which the flying feet hung

to, So to be singled out, built in, and sung to!

This is a heart the Queen leant on,

Thrilled in a minute erratic,
Erc the true bosom she bent on,

Mcet for love's regal dalmatić.

Oh, what a fancy ecstatic Was the poor heart's, ere the wanderer went onLove to be saved for it, proffered to, spcat on!

R. Browning

CCCLXXIV

A WOMAN'S LAST WORD
Let's contend no more, Love,

Strive nor weep:
All be as before, Love,

- Only sleep!

What so wild as words are?

I and thou
In debate, as birds are,

Hawk on bough!

[blocks in formation]

-Must a little weep, Love,

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

R. Browning

CCCLXXV

RABBI BEN EZRA

I

Grow old along with me!

The best is yet to be,
The last of life, for which the first was made:

Our times are in His hand

Who saith ‘A whole I planned, Youth shows but half; trust God: see all, nor be

afraid !'

2

Not that, amassing flowers,

Youth sighed ‘Which rose make ours, Which lily leave and then as best recall ?"

Not that, admiring stars,

It yearned 'Nor Jove, nor Mars; Mine be some figured flame which blends, transcends them all!'

3
Not for such hopes and fears

Annulling youth's brief years,
Do I remonstrate: folly wide the mark!

Rather I prize the doubt

Low kinds exist without,
Finished and finite clods, untroubled by a spark.

4
Poor vaunt of life indeed,

Were man bút formed to feed
On joy, to solely seek and find and feast :

Such feasting ended, then

As sure an end to men; Irks care the crop-full bird? Frets doubt the maw-crammed beast?

5
Rejoice we are allied
To That which doth provide

And not partake, effect and not receive !

A spark disturbs our clod;

Nearer we hold of God Who gives, than of His tribes that take, I must believe.

6 Then, welcome each rebuff

That turns earth's smoothness rough, Each sting that bids nor sit nor stand but gol

Be our joys three-parts pain !

Strive, and hold cheap the strain; Learn, nor account the pang; dare, never grudge

the throe!

7 For thence, –a paradox

Which comforts while it mocks,Shall life succeed in that it seems to fail :

What I aspired to be,

And was not, comforts me: A brute I might have been, but would not sink i' the scale.

8 What is he but a brute

Whose flesh hath soul to suit, Whose spirit works lest arms and legs want play?

To man, propose this test

Thy body at its best, How far can that project thy soul on its lone way?

9
Yet gifts should prove their use:

I own the Past profuse
Of power each side, perfection every turn :

Eyes, ears took in their dole,

Brain treasured up the whole; Should not the heart beat once 'How good to live

and learn'?

IO
Not once beat 'Praise be Thine!

I see the whole design,
I, who saw power, see now Love perfect too:

Perfect I call Thy plan:

Thanks that I was a man! Maker, remake, complete, I trust what Thou

shalt do!'

II

For pleasant is this flesh;

Our soul in its rose-mesh
Pulled ever to the earth, still yearns for rest :

Would we some prize might hold

To match those manifold Possessions of the brute, -gain most, as we did

best!

I2

Let us not always say

‘Spite of this flesh to-day I strove, made head, gained ground upon the

whole!'
As the bird wings and sings,

Let us cry ‘All good things
Are ours, nor soul helps flesh more, now, than flesh

helps soul !

13

Therefore I summon age

To grant youth's heritage,
Life's struggle having so far reached its term:

Thence shall I pass, approved

A man, for ay removed From the developed brute; a God though in the germ.

14
And I shall thereupon

Take rest, ere I be gone
Once more on my adventure brave and new :

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