The friend, to whom “WARING” refers, is a restless, aspiring, sensitive person, who has planned great works, though he has completed none: who feels his powers always in excess of his performance, and who is hurt if those he loves refuse them credit for being so. He is gone now, no one knows whither; and the speaker, who is conscious that his own friendship has often seemed critical or cold, vainly wishes that he could recall him. His fancy travels longingly to those distant lands, in one of which Waring may be playing some new and romantic part; and back again to England, where he tries to think that he is lying concealed, while preparing to surprise the world with some great achievement in literature or art. Then someone solves the problem by saying that he has seen him—for one moment—on the Illyrian coast; seated in a light bark, just bounding away into the sunset. And the speaker rejoins
Was lost here but it rose afar!” (vol. v. p. 89.)
and, we conclude, takes comfort from the thought.
[Footnote 94: Both of these first in “Hood’s Magazine.”]
[Footnote 95: First in “Hood’s Magazine.”]
[Footnote 96: I here use the word “conscience” in its intellectual rather than its moral sense; as signifying that consciousness of a wrong done, which may, for a time, be evaded or pushed aside.]
[Footnote 97: This poem was a personal utterance, provoked by the death of a relative whom Mr. Browning dearly loved.]
[Footnote 98: Told by Schiller and Leigh Hunt.]
[Footnote 99: Written for and inscribed to a little son of the actor, William Macready.]
[Footnote 100: A picturesque old church which has since been destroyed.]
[Footnote 101: The “Threatening Tyrant.” Suggested by some words in Horace: 8th Ode, ii. Book.]
[Footnote 102: Mr. Browning is proud to remember that Mazzini informed him he had read this poem to certain of his fellow-exiles in England to show how an Englishman could sympathize with them.]
[Footnote 103: A small, square building on one of the quays, in which the bodies of drowned persons were placed for identification.]
“DRAMATIC IDYLS.” “JOCOSERIA.”
The Dramatic Idyls form, like the Dramas, a natural group; and though, unlike these, they might be distributed under various heads, it would not be desirable to thus disconnect them; for their appearing together at this late period of Mr. Browning’s career, constitutes them a landmark in it. They each consist of a nucleus of fact—supplied by history or by romance, as the case may be—and of material, and in most cases, mental circumstance, which Mr. Browning’s fancy has engrafted on it; and in both their material and their mental aspect they display a concentrated power, which clearly indicates what I have spoken of as the “crystallizing” process Mr. Browning’s genius has undergone. A comparison of these poems with “Pauline,” “Paracelsus,” or even “Pippa Passes,” will be found to justify this assertion.