Saturday, February 28, 2009

Aimless Reading: The B's, Part 47 (Robert Browning)

Selected Poetry
Originally uploaded by Michael_Kelleher
Browning, Robert
Selected Poetry

I could almost cut and pasted the previous entry, but for a few minor details. Purchased for a very low price at the Niagara Falls outlet mall discount book store. Does not have a price sticker on it, but does have a black remainder mark on the bottom edge. Is equally unread as the former and mostly for the same reason: I don't really dig Victorian poetry. I guess I am too in love with modernism, which is itself so much a reaction against Victorian excess. I can't say I actually have much desire to read Browning, but I felt I needed to have him on my shelf for reference purposes, which is a major reason I buy so many of the remaindered Penguin Classics at the discount store.

Never The Time and The Place

NEVER the time and the place
And the loved one all together!
This path—how soft to pace!
This May—what magic weather!
Where is the loved one’s face?
In a dream that loved one’s face meets mine,
But the house is narrow, the place is bleak
Where, outside, rain and wind combine
With a furtive ear, if I strive to speak,
With a hostile eye at my flushing cheek,
With a malice that marks each word, each sign!
O enemy sly and serpentine,
Uncoil thee from the waking man!
Do I hold the Past
Thus firm and fast
Yet doubt if the Future hold I can?
This path so soft to pace shall lead
Through the magic of May to herself indeed!
Or narrow if needs the house must be,
Outside are the storms and strangers: we—
Oh, close, safe, warm, sleep I and she
—I and she.

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