An Introduction to the Study of Browning eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 299 pages of information about An Introduction to the Study of Browning.
the English enthusiasm of the Home-Thoughts; the quaint humour and pregnant simplicity of the admirable little parable of The Twins; the sympathetic charm and light touch of Misconceptions, and the pretty figurative fancy of My Star; the strong, sad, suggestive little poem named One Way of Love, with its delicately-wrought companion Another Way of Love, the former a love-lyric to be classed with The Lost Mistress and The Last Ride Together; and, finally, the epilogue to the first volume and a late poem in the second:  Memorabilia, a tribute to Shelley, full of grateful remembrance and admiring love, significant among the few personal utterances of the poet, and the not less lovely poem and only less fervent tribute to Keats, the sumptuous, gorgeous, and sardonic lines on Popularity.  A careful study or even, one would think, a careless perusal, of but a few of the poems named above, should be enough to show, once and for all, the infinite richness and variety of Browning’s melody, and his complete mastery over the most simple and the most intricate lyric measures.  As an example of the finest artistic simplicity, rich with restrained pathos and quiet with keen tension of feeling, we may choose the following.

      “ONE WAY OF LOVE

      I.

      All June I bound the rose in sheaves. 
      Now, rose by rose, I strip the leaves
      And strew them where Pauline may pass. 
      She will not turn aside?  Alas! 
      Let them lie.  Suppose they die? 
      The chance was they might take her eye.

      II.

      How many a month I strove to suit
      These stubborn fingers to the lute! 
      To-day I venture all I know. 
      She will not hear my music?  So! 
      Break the string; fold music’s wing: 
      Suppose Pauline had bade me sing?

      III.

      My whole life long I learned to love. 
      This hour my utmost art I prove
      And speak my passion—­heaven or hell? 
      She will not give me heaven?  ’Tis well! 
      Love who may—­I still can say,
      Those who win heaven, blest are they!”

IN A BALCONY.[35]

[Written at Bagni di Lucca, 1853; published in Men and Women, above; reprinted in Poetical Works, 1863, under a separate heading; id., 1889 (Vol.  VII. pp. 1-41).  Performed at the Browning Society’s Third Annual Entertainment, Prince’s Hall, Piccadilly, Nov. 28, 1884, and by the English Drama Society at the Victoria Hall, June 8, 1905.]

The dramatic scene of In a Balcony is the last of the works written in dialogue.  We have seen, in tracing the course of the plays from Strafford to A Soul’s Tragedy, how the playwright gave place to the poet; how the stage construction, the brisk and interchanged dialogue of the earlier

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An Introduction to the Study of Browning from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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