Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, RUDEL TO THE LADY OF TRIPOLI, by ROBERT BROWNING

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

RUDEL TO THE LADY OF TRIPOLI, by                 Poet's Biography
First Line: I know a mount, the gracious sun perceives
Last Line: Pilgrim dear!
Subject(s): Infatuation; Troubadours; Minnesingers


I KNOW a Mount, the gracious Sun perceives
First, when he visits, last, too, when he leaves
The world; and, vainly favored, it repays
The day-long glory of his steadfast gaze
By no change of its large calm front of snow.
And underneath the Mount, a Flower I know,
He cannot have perceived, that changes ever
At his approach; and, in the lost endeavor
To live his life, has parted, one by one,
With all a flower's true graces, for the grace
Of being but a foolish mimic sun,
With ray-like florets round a disk-like face.
Men nobly call by many a name the Mount
As over many a land of theirs its large
Calm front of snow like a triumphal targe
Is reared, and still with old names, fresh names vie,
Each to its proper praise and own account:
Men call the Flower the Sunflower, sportively.


Oh, Angel of the East, one, one gold look
Across the waters to this twilight nook,
-- The far sad waters, Angel, to this nook!


Dear Pilgrim, art thou for the East indeed?
Go! -- saying ever as thou dost proceed,
That I, French Rudel, choose for my device
A sunflower outspread like a sacrifice
Before its idol. See! These inexpert
And hurried fingers could not fail to hurt
The woven picture; 't is a woman's skill
Indeed; but nothing baffled me, so, ill
Or well, the work is finished. Say, men feed
On songs I sing, and therefore bask the bees
On my flower's breast as on a platform broad:
But, as the flower's concern is not for these
But solely for the sun, so men applaud
In vain this Rudel, he not looking here
But to the East -- the East! Go, say this,
Pilgrim dear!

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