Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, DRAMATIC IDYLS: 2ND SERIES. EPILOGUE, by ROBERT BROWNING



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DRAMATIC IDYLS: 2ND SERIES. EPILOGUE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Touch him ne'er so lightly, into song
Last Line: Almost into flowers, held by such a kindly hand.


"TOUCH him ne'er so lightly, into song he broke:
Soil so quick-receptive, -- not one feather-seed,
Not one flower-dust fell but straight its fall awoke
Vitalizing virtue: song would song succeed
Sudden as spontaneous -- prove a poet-soul!"
Indeed?
Rock's the song-soil rather, surface hard and bare:
Sun and dew their mildness, storm and frost their rage
Vainly both expend, -- few flowers awaken there:
Quiet in its cleft broods -- what the after-age
Knows and names a pine, a nation's heritage.

Thus I wrote in London, musing on my betters,
Poets dead and gone; and lo, the critics cried,
"Out on such a boast!" as if I dreamed that fetters
Binding Dante bind up -- me! as if true pride
Were not also humble!
So I smiled and sighed
As I oped your book in Venice this bright morning,
Sweet new friend of mine! and felt the clay or sand,
Whatsoe'er my soil be, break -- for praise or scorning --
Out in grateful fancies -- weeds; but weeds expand
Almost into flowers, held by such a kindly hand.





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