Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE BURIAL OF ROBERT BROWNING, by KATHERINE HARRIS BRADLEY



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THE BURIAL OF ROBERT BROWNING, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Upon st. Michael's isle
Last Line: Or trafalgar.
Alternate Author Name(s): Field, Michael (With Edith Emma Cooper)
Subject(s): Browning, Robert (1812-1889); Funerals; Poetry & Poets; Writing & Writers; Burials


Upon St. Michael's Isle
They laid him for awhile
That he might feel the Ocean's full embrace,
And wedded be
To that wide sea --
The subject and the passion of his race.
As Thetis, from some lovely underground
Springing, she girds him round
With lapping sound
And silent space:
Then, on more honor bent,
She sues the firmament,
And bids the hovering, western clouds combine
To spread their sabled anther on her lustrous
brine.

It might not be
He should lie free
Forever in the soft light of the sea;
For lo! one came,
Of step more slow than fame,
Stooped over him -- we heard her breathe his
name
And as the light drew back,
Bore him across the track
Of the subservient waves that dare not foil
That veiled, maternal figure of its spoil.

Ah! where will she put by
Her journeying majesty?
She hath left the lands of the air and sun;
She will take no rest till her course be run.
Follow her far, follow her fast,
Until at last,
Within a narrow transept led,
Lo! she unwraps her face to pall her dead.

'T is England who has travelled far,
England who brings
Fresh splendor to her galaxy of Kings.
We kiss her feet, her hands,
Where eloquent she stands;
Nor dare to lend
A wailful choir about the poet dumb
Who is become
Part of the glory that her sons would bleed
To save from scar;
Yea, hers in very deed
As Runnymede,
Or Trafalgar.




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