Life of Robert Browning

Life of Robert Browning

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Excerpt: ...and no amount of goose criticism shall make me lift a heel against what waddles behind it." Herself one whose happiest experiences were in dreamland, Miss Barrett was keenly susceptible to the strong humanity of Browning's song, nor less keenly attracted by his strenuous and fearless outlook, his poetic practicality, and even by his bluntness of insight in certain matters. It was no slight thing to her that she could, in Mr. Lowell's words, say of herself and of him-- "We, who believe life's bases rest Beyond the probe of chemic test." She rejoiced, despite her own love for remote imaginings, to know that he was of those who (to quote again from the same fine poet) ." . . wasted not their breath in schemes Of what man might be in some bubble-sphere, As if he must be other than he seems Because he was not what he should be here, Postponing Time's slow proof to petulant dreams;" that, in a word, while 'he could believe the promise of to-morrow, ' he was at the same time supremely conscious of 'the wondrous meaning of to-day.' Both, from their youth onward, had travelled 'on trails divine of unimagined laws.' It was sufficient for her that he kept his eyes fixed on the goal beyond the way he followed: it did not matter that he was blind to the dim adumbrations of novel byways, of strange Calvarys by the wayside, so often visible to her. Their first meeting was speedily followed by a second--by a third--and then? When we know not, but ere long, each found that happiness was in the bestowal of the other. The secret was for some time kept absolutely private. From the first Mr. Barrett had been jealous of his beloved daughter's new friend. He did not care much for the man, he with all the prejudices and baneful conservatism of the slave-owning planter, the other with ardent democratic sentiments and a detestation of all forms of iniquity. Nor did he understand the poet. He could read his daughter's flowing verse with pleasure, but there was to his ear a...
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Product details

  • Paperback | 80 pages
  • 189 x 246 x 4mm | 159g
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236714172
  • 9781236714176