Robert Browning: Poems

Epilogue To "Asolando"

At the midnight in the silence of the sleep-time,

When you set your fancies free,

Will they pass to where--by death, fools think, imprisoned--

Low he lies who once so loved you whom you loved so,

--Pity me?

Oh to love so, be so loved, yet so mistaken!

What had I on earth to do

With the slothful, with the mawkish, the unmanly?

Like the aimless, helpless, hopeless, did I drivel

--Being--who? 10

One who never turned his back but marched breast forward,

Never doubted clouds would break,

Never dreamed, tho' right were worsted, wrong would triumph,

Held we fall to rise, are baffled to fight better,

Sleep to wake.

No, at noonday in the bustle of man's work-time

Greet the unseen with a cheer!

Bid him forward, breast and back as either should be,

"Strive and thrive!" cry "Speed,--fight on, fare ever

There as here!" 20