Tuesday, September 19, 2017 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806 – 1861)


English poet and the wife of fellow poet Robert Browning.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
By anguish which made pale the sun,
I hear Him charge his saints that none
Among his creatures anywhere
Blaspheme against Him with despair,
However darkly days go on.
Browning quotes
Thou large-brained woman and large-hearted man.
Browning
But so fair,
She takes the breath of men away
Who gaze upon her unaware.




There Shakespeare, on whose forehead climb
The crowns o’ the world; oh, eyes sublime
With tears and laughter for all time!
Browning Elizabeth Barrett
The growing drama has outgrown such toys
Of simulated stature, face, and speech:
It also peradventure may outgrow
The simulation of the painted scene,
Boards, actors, prompters, gaslight, and costume,
And take for a worthier stage the soul itself,
Its shifting fancies and celestial lights,
With all its grand orchestral silences
To keep the pauses of its rhythmic sounds.
"Yes," I answered you last night;
"No," this morning, Sir, I say.
Colours seen by candlelight,
Will not look the same by day.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
And Chaucer, with his infantine
Familiar clasp of things divine.
She has seen the mystery hid
Under Egypt's pyramid:
By those eyelids pale and close
Now she knows what Rhamses knows.
Browning
What was he doing, the great god Pan,
Down in the reeds by the river?
Spreading ruin and scattering ban,
Splashing and paddling with hoofs of a goat,
And breaking the golden lilies afloat
With the dragon-fly on the river.
Browning Elizabeth Barrett
Of writing many books there is no end;
And I who have written much in prose and verse
For others' uses, will write now for mine,—
Will write my story for my better self,
As when you paint your portrait for a friend,
Who keeps it in a drawer and looks at it
Long after he has ceased to love you, just
To hold together what he was and is.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
By thunders of white silence.




Unless you can muse in a crowd all day
On the absent face that fixed you;
Unless you can love, as the angels may,
With the breadth of heaven betwixt you;
Unless you can dream that his faith is fast,
Through behoving and unbehoving;
Unless you can die when the dream is past —
Oh, never call it loving!
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
God only, who made us rich, can make us poor.
Browning quotes
And truly, I reiterate, . . nothing's small!
No lily-muffled hum of a summer-bee,
But finds some coupling with the spinning stars;
No pebble at your foot, but proves a sphere;
No chaffinch, but implies the cherubim:
And, — glancing on my own thin, veined wrist, —
In such a little tremour of the blood
The whole strong clamour of a vehement soul
Doth utter itself distinct. Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God:
But only he who sees, takes off his shoes,
The rest sit round it, and pluck blackberries,
And daub their natural faces unaware
More and more, from the first similitude.
Browning Elizabeth Barrett
Oh, the little birds sang east, and the little birds sang west.
Since when was genius found respectable?
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Knowledge by suffering entereth,
And life is perfected by death.
I praise Thee while my days go on;
I love Thee while my days go on:
Through dark and dearth, through fire and frost,
With emptied arms and treasure lost,
I thank Thee while my days go on.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints,—I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! —and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
Browning Elizabeth Barrett
Because God's gifts put man's best dreams to shame.


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