Another by Browning Reading through


Another by Browning

Reading through "Caliban upon Setebos" last night put me in mind of one of my favorite bits of Browning's work, the epic The Ring and the Book. From that monster-poem, I offer only this small sample.

Invocation from The Ring and the Book Robert Browning

O lyric love, half angel and half bird,
And all a wonder and a wild desire,-
Boldest of hearts that ever braved the sun,
Took sanctuary within the holier blue,
And sang a kindred soul out to his face,-
Yet human at the ripe-red of his heart,
Never may I commence my song, my due
To God who best taught song by gift of thee
Except with bent head and beseeching hand-
Never conclude, but raising hand and head
Thither where eyes, that cannot reach yet yearn
For all hope, all sustainment, all reward
Some whiteness which I judge, thy face makes proud
Some wanness where I think thy foot may fall!

A poem not to be undertaken by the faint of heart or the easily daunted. In my edition of it The Ring and the Book runs to about 500 pages. But like Wordworth's The Prelude they are wonder-filled and wonderful, in parts transcendant.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on November 1, 2002 7:19 AM.

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