Sunday, January 12, 2014

Browning's Fascinating Turn of Phrase

I am reading some Robert Browning poems again.  Here is one of my favourites.  Read on and enjoy:

Prospice

Fear death?--to feel the fog in my throat, 
     The mist in my face,
When the snows begin, and the blasts denote
    I am nearing the place,
The power of the night, the press of the storm,
     The post of my foe;
Where he stands, the Arch Fear in a visible form;
     Yet the strong man must go:
For the journey is done and the summit attained,
     And the barriers fall,
Though a battle's to fight ere the guerdon be gained,
     The reward of it all.
I was ever a fighter, so---one fight more,
     The best and the last!
I would hate that death bandaged my eyes, and forbore,
     And bade me creep past.
No! let me taste the whole of it, fare like my peers,
     The heroes of old,
Bear the brunt, in a minute pay glad life's arrears
     Of pain, darkness and cold.
For sudden the worst turns the best to th brave.
     The black minute's at end,
And elements' rage, the fiend-voices that rave,
     Shall dwindle, shall blend,
Shall change, shall become first a peace out of pain.
     Then a light, then thy breast,
O thou soul of my soul!  I shall clasp thee again,
     And with God be the rest.

--Robert Browning 

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