Robert Browning: Poems

Songs From Pippa Passes


Faster and more fast,

O'er night's brim, day boils at last:

Boils, pure gold, o'er the cloud-cup's brim.

Where spurting and suppressed it lay,

For not a froth-flake touched the rim

Of yonder gap in the solid gray

Of the eastern cloud, an hour away;

But forth one wavelet, then another, curled,

Till the whole sunrise, not to be suppressed, 10

Rose, reddened, and its seething breast

Flickered in bounds, grew gold, then overflowed the world.

All service ranks the same with God:

If now, as formerly He trod

Paradise, His presence fills

Our earth, each only as God wills

Can work--God's puppets, best and worst,

Are we: there is no last nor first.

The year's at the spring

And day's at the morn: 20

Morning's at seven;

The hillside's dew-pearled;

The lark's on the wing;

The snail's on the thorn:

God's in His heaven--

All's right with the world!

Give her but a least excuse to love me!


How--can this arm establish her above me,

If fortune fixed her as my lady there, 30

There already, to eternally reprove me?

("Hist!"--said Kate the queen;

But "Oh," cried the maiden, binding her tresses,

"'Tis only a page that carols unseen,

Crumbling your hounds their messes!")

Is she wronged?--To the rescue of her honour,

My heart!

Is she poor?--What costs it to be styled a donor?

Merely an earth to cleave, a sea to part.

But that fortune should have thrust all this upon her!

("Nay, list!"--bade Kate the queen; 41

And still cried the maiden, binding her tresses,

"'Tis only a page that carols unseen,

Fitting your hawks their jesses!")