Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, MAN AND NATURE, by ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING



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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

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MAN AND NATURE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: A sad man on a summer day
Last Line: Who can be bright without the sun.'
Subject(s): Earth; Clouds; Mankind; Birds; Sea; World; Human Race; Ocean


A SAD man on a summer day
Did look upon the earth and say --

'Purple cloud the hill-top binding;
Folded hills the valleys wind in;
Valleys with fresh streams among you;
Streams with bosky trees along you;
Trees with many birds and blossoms;
Birds with music-trembling bosoms;
Blossoms dropping dews that wreathe you
To your fellow flowers beneath you;
Flowers that constellate on earth;
Earth that shakest to the mirth
Of the merry Titan Ocean,
All his shining hair in motion!
Why am I thus the only one
Who can be dark beneath the sun?'

But when the summer day was past,
He looked to heaven and smiled at last,
Self-answered so --
'Because, O cloud,
Pressing with thy crumpled shroud
Heavily on mountain top, --
Hills that almost seem to drop
Stricken with a misty death
To the valleys underneath, --
Valleys sighing with the torrent, --
Waters streaked with branches horrent, --
Branchless trees that shake your head
Wildly o'er your blossoms spread
Where the common flowers are found, --
Flowers with foreheads to the ground, --
Ground that shriekest while the sea
With his iron smiteth thee --
I am, besides, the only one
Who can be bright without the sun.'





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