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Rafael made a century of sonnets, Made and wrote them in a certain volume
Dinted with the silver-pointed pencil Else he only used to draw Madonnas: These, the world might view-but one, the volume.
Who that one, you ask? Your heart instructs you.
Did she live and love it all her lifetime?
You and I would rather read that volume,
(Taken to his beating bosom by it) Lean and list the bosom-beats of Rafael, Would we not? than wonder at Madon
Her, San Sisto names, and Her, Foligno, Her, that visits Florence in a vision, Her, that's left with lilies in the LouvreSeen by us and all the world in circle.
You and I will never read that volume. Guido Reni, like his own eye's apple Guarded long the treasure-book and loved it.
Guido Reni dying, all Bologna
The last poem of the Collection Men and Women, two volumes, published in 1855, and containing a large part of Browning's greatest work. Here, for once, Browning speaks in his own person.
None but would forego his proper dowry,Does he paint? he fain would write a poem,Does he write? he fain would paint a picture,
Put to proof art alien to the artist's, Once, and only once, and for one only, So to be the man and leave the artist, Gain the man's joy, miss the artist's
Wherefore? Heaven's gift takes earth's
He who smites the rock and spreads the water, Bidding drink and live a crowd beneath him,
Even he, the minute makes immortal, Proves, perchance, but mortal in the minute.
Desecrates, belike, the deed in doing. While he smites, how can he but remember,
So he smote before, in such a peril, When they stood and mocked-" Shall smiting help us?"
When they drank and sneered stroke is easy!" When they wiped their mouths and went their journey, Throwing him for thanks-"But drought was pleasant."
Thus old memories mar the actual triumph;
Thus the doing savors of disrelish;
mandate, Carelessness or consciousness-the ges ture.
For he bears an ancient wrong about him, Sees and knows again those phalanxed faces,
Hears, yet one time more, the 'customed prelude
How shouldst thou, of all men, smite, and save us?" Guesses what is like to prove the sequelEgypt's flesh-pots-nay, the drought was better."
Right-arm's rod-sweep, tongue's imperial fiat.
Never dares the man put off the prophet.
Oh, the crowd must have emphatic warrant !
Theirs, the Sinai-forehead's cloven brilliance,
Yet a semblance of resource avails usShade so finely touched, love's sense must seize it.
Take these lines, look lovingly and nearly, Lines I write the first time and the last time.
He who works in fresco, steals a hairbrush,
Curbs the liberal hand, subservient proudly,
Cramps his spirit, crowds its all in little Makes a strange art of an art familiar, Fills his lady's missal-marge with
flowerets. He who blows through bronze, may breathe through silver,
Fitly serenade a slumbrous princess. He who writes, may write for once as I do.
Love, you saw me gather men and
Live or dead or fashioned by my fancy, Enter each and all, and use their service,
Speak from every mouth,—the speech, a poem.
Hardly shall I tell my joys and sorrows, Hope and fears, belief and disbelieving : I am mine and yours-the rest be all men's,
Karshish, Cleon, Norbert, and the fifty. Let me speak this once in my true per
Not as Lippo, Roland, or Andrea, Though the fruit of speech be just this
Pray you, look on these my men and
Take and keep my fifty poems finished; Where my heart lies, let my brain lie also!
Poor the speech; be how I speak, for all things.
Not but that you know me! Lo, the moon's self!
Here in London, yonder late in Florence, Still we find her face, the thrice-transfigured,
Curving on a sky imbrued with color,
Full she flared it, lamping Samminiato, Rounder 'twixt the cypresses rounder,
Perfect till the nightingales applauded.
What, there's nothing in the moon noteworthy?
Nay for if that moon could love a mortal,
Blank to Zoroaster on his terrace,
Think, the wonder of the moonstruck mortal
When she turns round, comes again in heaven.
Opens out anew for worse or better!