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Robert Browning Drink out this quarter-florin to the health

(1812-1889) Of the munificent House that harbours me
(And many more beside, lads! more beside!)
And all's come square again. I'd like his face --
Fra Lippo Lippi
His, elbowing on his comrade in the door
With the pike and lantern, -- for the slave that holds
I am poor brother Lippo, by your leave!
John Baptist's head a-dangle by the hair
You need not clap your torches to my face.
With one hand ("Look you, now," as who should say)
Zooks, what's to blame? you think you see a monk!
And his weapon in the other, yet unwiped!
What, 'tis past midnight, and you go the rounds,
It's not your chance to have a bit of chalk,
And here you catch me at an alley's end
A wood-coal or the like? or you should see!
Where sportive ladies leave their doors ajar?
Yes, I'm the painter, since you style me so.
The Carmine's my cloister: hunt it up,
What, Brother Lippo's doings, up and down,
Do, -- harry out, if you must show your zeal,
You know them and they take you? like enough!
Whatever rat, there, haps on his wrong hole,
I saw the proper twinkle in your eye --
And nip each softling of a wee white mouse,
'Tell you, I liked your looks at very first.
Weke, weke, that's crept to keep him company!
Let's sit and set things straight now, hip to haunch.
Aha, you know your betters! Then, you'll take
Here's spring come, and the nights one makes up bands
Your hand away that's fiddling on my throat,
To roam the town and sing out carnival,
And please to know me likewise. Who am I?
And I've been three weeks shut up within my mew,
Why, one, sir, who is lodging with a friend
A-painting for the great man, saints and saints
Three streets off -- he's a certain... how d'ye call?
And saints again. I could not paint all night --
Master -- a... Cosimo of the Medici,
Ouf! I leaned out of window for fresh air.
I' the house that caps the corner. Boh! you were best!
There came a hurry of feet and little feet,
Remember and tell me, the day you're hanged,
A sweep of lute-strings, laughs, and whifts of song, --
How you affected such a gullet's-gripe!
Flower o' the broom,
But you, sir, it concerns you that your knaves
Take away love, and our earth is a tomb!
Pick up a manner nor discredit you:
Flower o' the quince,
Zooks, are we pilchards, that they sweep the streets
I let Lisa go, and what good in life since?
And count fair prize what comes into their net?
Flower o' the thyme -- and so on. Round they went.
He's Judas to a tittle, that man is!
Scarce had they turned the corner when a titter
Just such a face! Why, sir, you make amends.
Like the skipping of rabbits by moonlight, -- three slim shapes,
Lord, I'm not angry! Bid your hangdogs go


Ah. The droppings of the wax to sell again. I found in time. they'd have taught me Latin in pure waste! If Master Cosimo announced himself. flesh and blood.And a face that looked up. farm. what am I a beast for? tell us. Flower o' the clove. -- 2 . "amo" I love! Come. -- And so along the wall. Though your eye twinkles still.. "the mouthful of bread?" thought I. Mum's the word naturally. Will you renounce". and so dropped. rinds and shucks. Hands and feet.the sting's in that! Lord. One fine frosty day. you're minded. While I stood munching my first bread that month: That's all I'm made of! Into shreds it went. (Its fellow was a stinger as I knew) Or holla for the Eight and have him whipped. Such a to-do! They tried me with their books: Mine's shaved -. zooks. -." quoth the good fat father Curtain and counterpane and coverlet. such as these poor devils of Medici If I've been merry.a monk. 'twas refection-time. you shake your head -..nay. And after them. His bone from the heap of offal in the street. Palace. My stomach being empty as your hat. over the bridge. shop and banking-house. To get to bed and have a bit of sleep 'Twas not for nothing -. which lets drop By the straight cut to the convent. -- All the bed-furniture -. "To quit this very miserable world? There was a ladder! Down I let myself. Holding a candle to the Sacrament.the good bellyful. Which gentleman processional and fine.. Will wink and let him lift a plate and catch Old Aunt Lapaccia trussed me with one hand. Wiping his own mouth. melon-parings. How say I? -. you may be sure. well met. a year or two The bit of half-stripped grape-bunch he desires. they made a monk of me. You snap me of the sudden. On Jerome knocking at his poor old breast And day-long blessed idleness beside! With his great round stone to subdue the flesh. God knows how. now! But. but a monk! All the Latin I construe is. The wind doubled me up and down I went. which dog bites. And father died and left me in the street. And who will curse or kick him for his pains. And so as I was stealing back again Well. Hard by Saint Laurence. what matter who knows? Have given their hearts to -. Six words there. as my fortune was. sir. Flower o' the rose. "Let's see what the urchin's fit for" -. I must confess. I see! Not overmuch their way. its pride and greed. villa.that came next. "So. Trash. I came up with the fun I did renounce the world. scrambling somehow. Ere I rise up tomorrow and go work The warm serge and the rope that goes all round.all at eight years old. -- Refuse and rubbish. mind you. you say -. On fig-skins. sir. By no means! Brief.. hail fellow. when a boy starves in the streets I was a baby when my mother died Eight years together. boy.a dozen knots. Watching folk's faces to know who will fling I starved there.

every sort of monk. then cried "'Tis ask and have. her apron o'er her head. I painted all. the door. The Prior and the learned pulled a face Thank you! my head being crammed. dropped in a loaf. safe and sitting there Make them forget there's such a thing as flesh. "turn him out.Why. Betwixt the ins and outs of verb and noun. With the little children round him in a row Your business is to paint the souls of men -- Of admiration. (In that shape when you die it leaves your mouth) Signing himself with the other because of Christ It's. To the breathless fellow at the altar-foot... Their cribs of barrel-droppings. I drew men's faces on my copy-books. With homage to the perishable clay. no. Found eyes and hose and chin for A's and B's. Look at the boy who stoops to pat the dog! What if at last we get our man of parts. For that white anger of his victim's son It's vapour done up like a new-born babe -- Shaking a fist at him with one fierce arm. folk at church. On tiptoe. arms. And made a string of pictures of the world And showed my covered bit of cloister-wall. (Whose sad face on the cross sees only this He learns the look of things. -. Quite from the mark of painting. turned to use. the walls a blank.. candle-ends. And stopped all that in no time. And put the front on it that ought to be!" Their betters took their turn to see and say: And hereupon he bade me daub away." quoth the Prior. The monks looked black.. it's the soul! 3 . the black and white. after I found leisure. That woman's like the Prior's niece who comes We Carmelites. prayed. -. (Which the intense eyes looked through) came at eve Which. Her pair of earrings and a bunch of flowers Scrawled them within the antiphonary's marge. and it's a fire. Till checked. I had a store of such remarks."That's the very man! In no wise. and so was gone. Fresh from his murder. what matters talking. The monks closed in a circle and praised loud On the wall. Faces. bless us all! First. Choose. be sure. (The brute took growling). the bench. smoke. half for his beard and half Man's soul. like those Camaldolese To care about his asthma: it's the life!" And Preaching Friars. Lose a crow and catch a lark. to do our church up fine But there my triumph's straw-fire flared and funked. well.. "Nay. and none the less After the passion of a thousand years) For admonition from the hunger-pinch. fat and lean: then. soul and sense of him grow sharp alike. for more's ready!" -. "How? what's here? Never was such prompt disemburdening. Till some poor girl. Joined legs and arms to the long music-notes. said a word.laid the ladder flat. ignore it all. But lift them over it. taught what to see and not to see.. d'ye say? Being simple bodies. legs and bodies like the true I drew them. As much as pea and pea! it's devil's-game! From good old gossips waiting to confess Your business is not to catch men with show. it's not.

there's pretty sure to come And then add soul and heighten them threefold? A turn. there's my life. You keep your mistr. or tie up a horse! A fine way to paint soul. 4 . in short. I swallow my rage. When all beside itself means and looks it so pretty Don't you think they're the likeliest to know. And any sort of meaning looks intense Brother Angelico's the man. Flower o' the pine."It's art's decline. I've broken bounds: With wonder at lines. Having a friend. that white smallish female with the breasts. and paint Suppose I've made her eyes all right and blue. Sorrow or joy? won't beauty go with these? Clench my teeth. -. when you return him thanks. The world and life's too big to pass for a dream. You can't discover if it means hope. and what not? You should not take a fellow eight years old Paint the soul. with his Saint a-praising God. must go further Are peeping o'er my shoulder as I work. yellow does for white The heads shake still -. You're not of the true painters. colours. I ask? To plant a flag in. To please them -.. If you get simple beauty and naught else. And can't fare worse! Thus. Here's Giotto. Death for us all. A laugh.put the case the same --) (Flower o' the peach. For.Give us no more of body than shows soul! Within yourself. That sets us praising. the business of the world -- (I never saw it -. try at it a second time.. suck my lips in tight. paint now as I please -- Oh. Rub all out. never mind the legs and arms! And make him swear to never kiss the girls. the eye can't stop there. my son! When what you put for yellow's simply black. Lord. patron-saint -. Fag on at flesh. They with their Latin? So. the cup runs over. and his own life for each!) You get about the best thing God invents: And my whole soul revolves. Make his flesh liker and his soul more like.sometimes do and sometimes don't. great and old. it's fast holding by the rings in front -- Who went and danced and got men's heads cut off! Those great rings serve more purposes than just Have it all out!" Now. you'll never make the third!" Left foot and right foot.. "Rub all out!" Well.why not stop with him? And so the thing has gone on ever since. by painting body And yet the old schooling sticks. some warm eve finds me at my saints -- Or say there's beauty with no soul at all -. they must know! The Prior's niece. a cry. fear. and I'll stick to mine! Both in their order? Take the prettiest face. then: bless us. you'll find. Brother Lorenzo stands his single peer: Why can't a painter lift each foot in turn. in the Corner-house! She's just my niece.manners. I'm my own master. I'm not the third. Can't I take breath and try to add life's flash. -. go a double step. Why put all thoughts of praise out of our head I'm grown a man no doubt. is this sense. doing most. you see. Herodias. I would say. the old grave eyes So ill. well.. That's somewhat: and you'll find the soul you have missed.

Perhaps a hundred times nor cared to see. And play the fooleries you catch me at. God's works -. The mountain round it and the sky above. They call him Hulking Tom. I hope so -. if given at your word. Art was given for that. In pure rage! The old mill-horse. Come to our convent. you've seen the world Nor blank. Slouches and stares and lets no atom drop: Your cullion's hanging face? A bit of chalk. this last of course! -. As that the morning-star's about to shine. Just as they are. "There's no advantage! you must beat her. -. Have you noticed. now. You tell too many lies and hurt yourself: Wondered at? oh. To let a truth slip.why.better to us. lights and shades. and means good: 5 . my lesson learned.he'll paint apace. -. -. yonder river's line. What will hap some day. What would men have? Do they like grass or no -. Interpret God to all of you! Oh. ay or no.For what? Do you feel thankful. I know. I think I speak as I was taught. woman. And we in our graves! This world's no blot for us.paint anyone. You don't like what you only like too much.and God made it all! After hard years. The only good of grass is to make chaff. out at grass Changes. But see. oh. their colours. Lending our minds out.he'll not mind the monks -. To be passed over.And I do these wild things in sheer despite.The beauty and the wonder and the power. now -. studies what I do. don't you mark? we're made so that we love First when we see them painted. Which is the same thing.(which you can't) The value and significance of flesh. But why not do as well as say. However. May they or mayn't they? all I want's the thing These are the frame to? What's it all about? Settled for ever one way.though I never live so long. "His works I always see the garden and God there Are here already. child. it means intensely. And trust me but you should. though! How much more. careless what comes of it? You find abundantly say." I can't unlearn ten minutes afterwards. -. nature is complete: A-making man's wife: and. things we have passed You understand me: I'm a beast. We've a youngster here God uses us to help each other so. and count it crime For me. painted -. then. surprises. His name is Guidi -. Don't object. belike. That were to take the Prior's pulpit-place. throws up his stiff heels so. The shapes of things. For. Much more the figures of man. he lets them talk -. despised? or dwelt upon. You be judge! It makes me mad to see what men shall do You speak no Latin more than I. If I drew higher things with the same truth! He picks my practice up -. As it is. I see as certainly And so they are better. I know what's sure to follow. Suppose you reproduce her" -. Although the miller does not preach to him For this fair town's face.paint these You do like what. you're my man.

-. because he saves the Florentines. And then i' the front. Where's a'll not mistake an idle word I. . Madonna and her babe. who puts down in black and white "How looks my painting. then go. for this Lilies and vestments and white faces. but you don't so instigate to prayer!" They want a cast o' my office. of course a saint or two -- I painted a Saint Laurence six months since Saint John. all these But's scratched and prodded to our heart's content. When ladies crowd to Church at midsummer. I shall paint Strikes in the Prior: "when your meaning's plain God in their midst. There's for you! Give me six months." he returns -. what's best. the church knows! don't misreport me. splashed the fresco in fine style: Saint Ambrose. At Prato. Or. after all. Music and talking. now the scaffold's down?" The convent's friends and gives them a long day. Well. I ask a brother: "Hugely. And Job..what is this I see and hear? Your painting serves its purpose!" Hang the fools! I. in this presence. where's a corner for escape? Tasting the air this spicy night which turns Then steps a sweet angelic slip of a thing The unaccustomed head like Chianti wine! Forward. I must have him there past mistake. mind you fast next Friday!" Why. see Iste perfecit opus!" So."Not so fast!" Oh. who but Lippo! I! -- Expect another job this time next year. "nay -- It's natural a poor monk out of bounds He made you and devised you. Back I shrink -. God wot. caught up with my monk's-things by mistake.Addresses the celestial presence.remember matins. Who turn the Deacon off his toasted side. Something in Sant' Ambrogio's! Bless the nuns! "Ay. "Already not one phiz of your three slaves The man of Uz (and Us without the z. or. motionless and moonstruck -. My old serge gown and rope that goes all round. sweet What need of art at all? A skull and bones. Painters who need his patience). With coming to say prayers there in a rage: As one by a dark stair into a great light. His camel-hair make up a painting-brush? I have bethought me: I shall paint a piece We come to brother Lippo for all that.To find its meaning is my meat and drink. Ringed by a bowery flowery angel-brood. It does not say to folk -. As puff on puff of grated orris-root Two bits of stick nailed crosswise. this pure company! Spoke in a huff by a poor monk. up shall come The pious people have so eased their own Out of a corner when you least expect. all smile -- 6 . Should have his apt word to excuse himself: Though he's none of you! Could Saint John there draw -- And hearken how I plot to make amends. Secured at their devotion.I'm the man! For pity and religion grow i' the crowd -. puts out a soft palm -. Mazed. now! -. does as well. A bell to chime the hour with. We get on fast to see the bricks beneath.That is -..

Even to put the pearl there! oh. I might get up to-morrow to my work Till.. Will it? tenderly? There's the bell clinking from the chapel-top. My youth. the little lily thing And mine the man's bared breast she curls inside. days decrease. my hope. my art. not letting go Your soft hand is a woman of itself. For each of the five pictures we require: And so all's saved for me. Go.. While she looks--no one's: very dear. autumn in everything. When next it takes mine. Zooks! My face.I shuffle sideways with my blushing face And look a half-hour forth on Fiesole. bear with me for once: There's what we painters call our harmony! Sit down and all shall happen as you wish. never fear. This evening more than usual. and good-bye: no lights. Fix his own time. So! keep looking so-- A pretty picture gained. Don't count the time lost. That spoke the good word for me in the nick. and it seems The last monk leaves the garden. Holds the trees safer. Oh. Saint Lucy. The palm of her. all the doors being shut. at every point. being all toned down And shut the money into this small hand To yonder sober pleasant Fiesole. Under the cover of a hundred wings Both of one mind. you must serve Like the Prior's niece.--but I. Andrea del Sarto And. quietly the evening through. at the point of your first pride in me Treat his own subject after his own way. there's my picture ready made. But do not let us quarrel any more. I would say. Which everybody looks on and calls his. no less. Let us try. wholly unexpected. As if--forgive now--should you let me sit And autumn grows. and I know my own way back. but does it bring your heart? All in a twilight. is looked on by in turn. I'll content him. --You. A common greyness silvers everything. my everybody's moon. (That's gone you know). Love! That length of convent-wall across the way I often am much wearier than you think. my moon. how you shall be glad for this! To some safe bench behind. huddled more inside.-- You turn your face. The street's hushed. Here by the window with your hand in mine Eh? the whole seems to fall into a shape 7 . Thrown like a spread of kirtles when you're gay Quietly. in there pops Cheerful and fresh as ever. you and I alike I'll work then for your friend's friend. as married people use. no lights! --How could you ever prick those perfect ears. my Lucrezia. And play hot cockles. neither. No. accept too his own price. I suppose. The hothead husband! Thus I scuttle off To-morrow. six months hence! My serpentining beauty. and for the church It saves a model.--but to-morrow. rounds on rounds! Your hand. so sweet-- Don't fear me! There's the grey beginning. sir. You smile? why.

Know what I do.) Carelessly passing with your robes afloat. This low-pulsed forthright craftsman's hand of mine. Behold Madonna!--I am bold to say. So free we seem. To paint a little thing like that you smeared ('Tis copied. And just as much they used to say in France. Well. But you can hear at least when people speak: The sudden blood of these men! at a word-- And that cartoon. (I know his name. Someone says. so much less. In their vexed beating stuffed and stopped-up brain. all their lives. but I sit here. it boils too. am unmoved by men's blame I can do with my pencil what I know. Well. and not leave this town. all of it! Placid and perfect with my art: the worse! No sketches first. what of that? I do not boast. George Vasari sent it me. Pouring his soul. 8 . And fail in doing. Do easily. perhaps: yourself are judge. looks the life he makes us lead. that's long past: I know both what I want and what might gain. And all that I was born to be and do. Love. or whate'er else. --It is the thing. I do what many dream of. Heart. Lucrezia: I am judged. what of that? or else. or blame them. what at bottom of my heart Morello's outline there is wrongly traced. I could count twenty such "Our head would have o'erlooked the world!" No doubt. Above and through his art--for it gives way. if I ever wish so deep-. Yonder's a work now. and agonize to do. with kings and popes to see. but a man's reach should exceed his grasp. I wish for. painting from myself and to myself.-. what does the mountain care? Who listened to the Legate's talk last week. My works are nearer heaven. Speak as they please. Or their praise either. Somebody remarks What I see. I can fancy how he did it all. Ah. I know. perfectly. to sigh --Dream? strive to do. that heaven might so replenish him. it boils. His hue mistaken. Nor care to understand about my art. too--when I say. of that famous youth Who strive--you don't know how the others strive The Urbinate who died five years ago. less is more. Enter and take their place there sure enough. so fettered fast we are! Their works drop groundward. A twilight-piece. On twice your fingers. Love! so such things should be-. And yet how profitless to know. than goes on to prompt How strange now.As if I saw alike my work and self There burns a truer light of God in them. no matter)--so much less! Reaching. "Had I been two. All that's behind us! You don't understand Though they come back and cannot tell the world. I. Rightly traced and well ordered. Or what's a heaven for? All is silver-grey. the second from the door Praise them. This chamber for example--turn your head-. we are in God's hand. another and myself. I feel he laid the fetter: let it lie! Reach many a time a heaven that's shut to me. Yet do much less. no studies. but themselves. At any rate 'tis easy.

who can do a thing. my kingly days? Beside. Still. and follows to the snare -. I and you! I surely then could sometimes leave the ground. In this world. what an arm! and I could alter it: The best is when they pass and look aside. I reached it ere the triumph. But all the play. And I'm the weak-eyed bat no sun should tempt And who would do it. Why do I need you? 'Tis done and past: 'twas right. "Rafael is waiting: up to God. A good time. or has Agnolo? Too live the life grew. incentives come from the soul's self. since 'Tis safer for me. Some women do so. this face beyond.. was it not. (Out of me.. a child may understand. with these the same. I dared not. I must bear it all. Over his mouth's good mark that made the smile. that first time. and more than perfect mouth. compensates. my instinct said: What wife had Rafael. Nay. with the same perfect brow. yes. I perceive: Out of the grange whose four walls make his world. I might have done it for you. In that humane great monarch's golden look. as a bird One arm about my shoulder. Had you enjoined them on me. Its body. but brought a mind! I painting proudly with his breath on me. How could it end in any other way? And thus we half-men struggle. More than I merit. the insight and the stretch-. For fear of chancing on the Paris lords.-- But had you--oh. side by side with Agnolo! And. At the end. this. the power-. I think-. One finger in his beard or twisted curl And perfect eyes. will not.-- "Live for fame. you did give all I asked.That arm is wrongly put--and there again-. despised. Rafael's daily wear. but I know-- The rest avail not. Put on the glory. Such frank French eyes. and I came home to your heart. All is as God over-rules. The jingle of his gold chain in my ear. Poor this long while. golden and not grey. given me soul. what is lost? 9 . punishes. this. You called me. The triumph was--to reach and stay there. Yet the will's somewhat--somewhat. if the award be strict. Love. waiting on my work. leave home all day. cannot. And the low voice my soul hears. best of all. Had the mouth there urged All his court round him. by many times. So it seems: To crown the issue with a last reward! Perhaps not. A fault to pardon in the drawing's lines. seeing with his eyes. and such a fire of souls "The present by the future. too. what is that? Profuse. to speak the truth. And had you not grown restless. so to speak: its soul is right. The fowler's pipe. And that long festal year at Fontainebleau! We might have risen to Rafael. Had you. round my neck. I conclude. But they speak sometimes. God. That I am something underrated here. He means right--that. do you know. out of me! And wherefore out? Well may they speak! That Francis. all three!" This in the background. my hand kept plying by those hearts. "God and the glory! never care for gain.

. Judge all I do and tell you of its worth. The walls become illumined. Give the chalk here--quick. If you would sit thus by me every night And throw him in another thing or two I should work better. so lost. satisfy your friend. The grey remainder of the evening out. his very self. clearer grows We built to be so gay with. "But still the other's Virgin was his wife--" Come from the window. thus. none cares how. "The Roman's is the better when you pray. Andrea painted that. I have known it all these years . I am glad to judge Inside the melancholy little house Both pictures in your presence. I mean that I should earn more. who but Michel Agnolo? Not yours this time! I want you at my side Do you forget already words like those?) To hear them--that is. Men will excuse me. And you smile indeed! I take the subjects for his corridor. Morello's gone.-. you call it. instead of mortar. When I look up from painting. the whole should prove enough 10 .--come in. let smiles buy me! have you more to spend? "As you are. were he set to plan and execute Well. One picture. yet. let me think so. at last. Only let me sit I hardly dare . if he spoke the truth. pricked on by your popes and kings. the watch-lights show the wall. there's a certain sorry little scrub Must see you--you. Must you go? Too lifted up in heart because of it) That Cousin here again? he waits outside? "Friend. love. You beautiful Lucrezia that are mine! See. (What he? why. but the soul! he's Rafael! rub it out! How I could paint. This hour has been an hour! Another smile? Finish the portrait out of hand--there. it is settled dusk now. . fierce bright gold. Still. the line should go! Idle. give you more. brick from brick To Rafael . (When the young man was flaming out his thoughts That gold of his I did cement them with! Upon a palace-wall for Rome to see. King Francis may forgive me: oft at nights For. work's my ware. there's a star. Will you? To-morrow. whether you're--not grateful--but more pleased. Let us but love each other. The cue-owls speak the name we call them by. only you to see. and what's it worth? To Rafael's!--And indeed the arm is wrong. . More gaming debts to pay? you smiled for that? "Who. all I care for. eyes tired out. "Rafael did this. as God lives. Is. . My better fortune. do you know. were I but back in France. Lucrezia.Let my hands frame your face in your hair's gold. Said one day Agnolo. Well. . . I resolve to think. and muse perfectly Ay. just one more--the Virgin's face. do you comprehend? If he demurs. While hand and eye and something of a heart "Would bring the sweat into that brow of yours!" Are left me. there. Michel Agnolo-- If really there was such a chance. and not with me? Those loans? "Goes up and down our Florence. I'll pay my fancy. God is just. Distinct.

With life or death in the balance: right! You loved me quite enough. And built this house and sinned. For Leonard. but what does he. I and my mistress. So. does that please you? Ah. My father and my mother died of want. Last Ride Together. Love. I would change still less. since 'tis so. breathe and ride. Some good son When pity would be softening through. Your leave for one more last ride with me. dearest.---I claim I took his coin. a breathing-while or two. The Cousin! what does he to please you more? Since nothing all my love avails. new chances. This must suffice me here. Since this was written and needs must be--- I regret little. one more chance-. Paint my two hundred pictures--let him try! Fixed me. My whole heart rises up to bless Since there my past life lies. over-bowed Again the Cousin's whistle! Go. had I riches of my own? you see How one gets rich! Let each one bear his lot. Because there's still Lucrezia. No doubt. Meted on each side by the angel's reed.To pay for this same Cousin's freak. Shall be together. if you will not blame. side by side Four great walls in the New Jerusalem. II. Yes. And I have laboured somewhat in my time Those deep dark eyes where pride demurs And not been paid profusely. my life seemed meant for. my Love. Well. Hush! if you saw some western cloud All billowy-bosomed. and poor they died: My mistress bent that brow of hers. it seems to-night.--as I choose. While I have mine! So--still they overcome III. What would one have? My last thought was at least not vain: In heaven. there's something strikes a balance. Since now at length my fate I know. and all is said. Agnolo and me Who knows but the world may end tonight? To cover--the three first without a wife. why alter it? Your name in pride and thankfulness! The very wrong to Francis!--it is true Take back the hope you gave. Rafael. perhaps. Since all. ---And this beside. They were born poor. Get you the thirteen scudi for the ruff! I said---Then. was tempted and complied. ---Only a memory of the same. By many benedictions---sun's And moon's and evening-star's at once--- 11 . I am grown peaceful as old age to-night. The blood replenished me again. lived poor. The What's better and what's all I care about. Beside. fails. one day more am I deified. I.

sunset. Down on you. They scratch his name on the Abbey-stones. Look at the end of work. What will but felt the fleshly screen? We ride and I see her bosom heave. so might I miss. riding's a joy! For me. Freshening and fluttering in the wind. moonrise. whence we turn 12 . side by side. in words and deeds? Have you yourself what's best for men? Why. great sculptor---so. What need to strive with a life awry? My riding is better. 'Tis something. Sing. Conscious grew. the undone vast. A score of years to Art. What hand and brain went ever paired? Till flesh must fade for heaven was here!--. had I done this. yet no less Bear up beneath their unsuccess. Than we who never have turned a rhyme? As the world rushed by on either side. So might I gain. VII. I ride. A soldier's doing! what atones? Past hopes already lay behind. by their leave. VIII. your passion drew Cloud. you tell Where had I been now if the worst befell? What we felt only. star-shine too. sick. V. I thought. I hoped she would love me. Nearer one whit your own sublime Saw other regions. Fail I alone. looking and loving best. you expressed And here we are riding. Might she have loved me? just as well What does it all mean. You hold things beautiful the best. She might have hated. her slave. Then we began to ride. contrast And you. Had I said that. There's many a crown for who can reach. you. VI. all men strive and who succeeds? Are you---poor. My soul Ten lines. old ere your time--- We rode. This present of theirs with the hopeful past! And that's your Venus. here we ride. And pace them in rhyme so. cities new. near and yet more near. who can tell! Your brains beat into rhythm. a statesman's life in each! Smoothed itself out. IV. she and I. nay 'tis much: but then. poet? Well.---All labour. a long-cramped scroll The flag stuck on a heap of bones. What heart alike conceived and dared? Thus leant she and lingered---joy and fear! What act proved all its thought had been? Thus lay she a moment on my breast. you gave The petty done.And so. it seemed my spirit flew.

She had Whither life's flower is first discerned. fair and strong Was courtesy. if they durst. ``Must never hope to reproduce the faint And yet---she has not spoke so long! ``Half-flush that dies along her throat:'' such stuff What if heaven be that. We. but I) This foot once planted on the goal. I call I gave my youth. The depth and passion of its earnest glance. Will't please you sit and look at her? I said Who knows what's fit for us? Had fate ``Fr Pandolf'' by design. and her looks went everywhere. Changed not in kind but in degree. And seemed as they would ask me. dim-descried. so. and cause enough At life's best. you grown grey With notes and nothing else to say. A heart---how shall I say?---too soon made glad. ride together. not the first Could I descry such? Try and test! Are you to turn and ask thus. now: Fr Pandolf's hands Worked busily a day. and there she stands. The dropping of the daylight in the West. with our eyes upturned For calling up that spot of joy. The bough of cherries some officious fool 13 . 'twas not I sink back shuddering from the quest. fixed so. called that spot Earth being so good. ``Put in music we know how fashions end!'' Looking as if she were alive. for ever ride? What.--. man of music. she thought. Still one must lead some life beyond. we two She looked on. The instant made eternity. and shall I repine? Ride. IX. for never read Proposed bliss here should sublimate Strangers like you that pictured countenance. would heaven seem best? Of joy into the Duchess' cheek: perhaps Now. That piece a wonder. Fr Pandolf chanced to say ``Her mantle laps ``Over my lady's wrist too much. Her husband's presence only.'' or ``Paint X. ``Greatly his opera's strains intend. This glory-garland round my soul. heaven and she are beyond this ride. in fine. 'twas all one! My favour at her breast. But to myself they turned (since none puts by Have a bliss to die with. Sir. but we ride. How such a glance came there. Sir. My Last Duchess Is this your sole praise from a friend. My being---had I signed the bond--. FERRARA.To yonder girl that fords the burn! And heaven just prove that I and she You acquiesce. she liked whate'er What if we still ride on. With life for ever old yet new. The curtain I have drawn for you. ever should so abide? Too easily impressed. That's my last Duchess painted on the wall.

untroubled by a spark. welcome each rebuff 14 . forsooth. ``Or there exceed the mark''---and if she let It yearned 'Nor Jove. as I avowed Irks care the crop-full bird? Frets doubt the maw-crammed beast? At starting. There she stands Finished and finite clods. I repeat. though. Were man but formed to feed The Count your master's known munificence On joy. and I choose Annulling youth's brief years. here you miss. With anybody's gift. In speech---(which I have not)---to make your will Youth sighed 'Which rose make ours. but who passed without Rather I prize the doubt Much the same smile? This grew. Though his fair daughter's self. and say.Broke in the orchard for her.---good! but thanked The last of life. Or blush. And not partake. at least. I must believe. admiring stars. Herself be lessoned so. then Of mine for dowry will be disallowed. nor be afraid!' This sort of trifling? Even had you skill Not that. is my object. trust God: see all. thought a rarity. then. we'll go Rejoice we are allied Together down. Will't please you rise? We'll meet Poor vaunt of life indeed. than of His tribes that take. amassing flowers. I gave commands. she smiled. The company below. The best is yet to be. She thanked men. Who'd stoop to blame Youth shows but half. no doubt. and made excuse. Nearer we hold of God Who gives. Not that. Notice Neptune. Oh sir. Low kinds exist without. ``Just this Which lily leave and then as best recall?' ``Or that in you disgusts me. the white mule Rabbi Ben Ezra She rode with round the terrace---all and each Grow old along with me! Would draw from her alike the approving speech. sir. To That which doth provide Taming a sea-horse. As if alive. effect and not receive! Which Claus of Innsbruck cast in bronze for me! A spark disturbs our clod. for which the first was made: Somehow---I know not how---as if she ranked Our times are in His hand My gift of a nine-hundred-years-old name Who saith 'A whole I planned. nor Mars. Do I remonstrate: folly wide the mark! Whene'er I passed her. Never to stoop. nor plainly set Mine be some figured flame which blends. Then. Then all smiles stopped together. transcends them all!' Her wits to yours. to solely seek and find and feast: Is ample warrant that no just pretence Such feasting ended. Quite clear to such an one. Nay. As sure an end to men. Not for such hopes and fears ---E'en then would be some stooping.

all lay in dispute. still yearns for rest. And I shall thereupon How far can that project thy soul on its lone way? Take rest. what armour to indue.--gain most. Are ours. Let us not always say. a god though in the germ. propose this test-. as we did best! Strive. Thanks that I was a man! For note. gained ground upon the whole!' Which comforts while it mocks. made head. being old.-. approved Whose spirit works lest arms and legs want play? A man. comforts me: Therefore I summon age A brute I might have been.That turns earth's smoothness rough. To grant youth's heritage. for aye removed To man. nor account the pang. nor soul helps flesh more. see now love perfect too: Give life its praise or blame: Perfect I call Thy plan: Young. From the developed brute. than flesh helps soul!' And was not. I. remake.--a paradox I strove. Shoots--'Add this to the rest. in its rose-mesh A whisper from the west Pulled ever to the earth. I shall know. who saw power. The deed off. calls the glory from the grey: Our soul. complete. ere I be gone Yet gifts should prove their use: Once more on my adventure brave and new: I own the Past profuse Fearless and unperplexed. now. never grudge the throe! 'Spite of this flesh to-day For thence. what survives is gold: I see the whole design. when evening shuts. Would we some prize might hold Each sting that bids nor sit nor stand but go! To match those manifold Be our joys three-parts pain! Possessions of the brute. I shall try Should not the heart beat once 'How good to live and learn?' My gain or loss thereby. As the bird wings and sings. perfection every turn: When I wage battle next. ears took in their dole. Brain treasured up the whole. Learn. dare. What is he but a brute Life's struggle having so far reached its term: Whose flesh has soul to suit. 15 . Not once beat 'Praise be Thine! Leave the fire ashes. Thy body at its best.--I trust what Thou shalt do!' A certain moment cuts For pleasant is this flesh. Eyes. What weapons to select. and hold cheap the strain. Shall life succeed in that it seems to fail: Let us cry 'All good things What I aspired to be. but would not sink i' the scale. And I shall weigh the same. Thence shall I pass. Of power each side. Maker. Youth ended.

From fools that crowded youth. Announced to each his station in the Past! When the wine makes its round. This rage was right i' the main. 'Since life fleets. All instincts immature. should know. than tempt Thoughts hardly to be packed Further. why passive lies our clay. Thou. To act to-morrow what he learns to-day: The low world laid its hand. Here. could value in a trice: The Master work. if the Right Fancies that broke through language and escaped.Take it and try its worth: here dies another day. exempt That weighed not as his work. That metaphor! and feel Be there. who shall arbitrate? Earth changes. As it was better. and I that: whom shall my soul believe? That acquiescence vain: Not on the vulgar mass The Future I may face now I have proved the Past. So. Shun what I follow. Now. work enough to watch Found straightway to its mind.-- Severed great minds from small. all is change. Enough now. than repose on aught found made: All purposes unsure. and catch But all. for once and all. better. pronounce at last. Should strive. Ten. So. Why time spins fast. who in ears and eyes Let me discern. Was I. Right? Let age speak the truth and give us peace at last! Lasts ever. I was worth to God.' Called 'work. Match me: we all surmise. that took the eye and had the price. the Past gone. Toward making. nor let thee feel alone. as thou callest thy hand thine own All. Be named here. note that Potter's wheel. seize to-day!' Were they. For more is not reserved Things done. at all. past recall. This. And finger failed to plumb. still within this life. but thy soul and God stand sure: 16 . tricks of the tool's true play. to whom fools propound. Subject to no dispute Ay. through acts uncouth. the world's coarse thumb Hints of the proper craft. the world arraigned. youth So passed in making up the main account. Though lifted o'er its strife. They this thing. men ignored in me. age. slight what I receive. from level stand. compare.' Ten men love what I hate. With knowledge absolute. Thou waitedst age: wait death nor be afraid! Into a narrow act. Fool! All that is. And Good and Infinite All I could never be.' must sentence pass. yet swelled the man's amount: From strife. To man. my soul disdained. whose wheel the pitcher shaped. with soul just nerved O'er which.

He fixed thee mid this dance Of plastic circumstance. God. Skull-things in order grim Grow out. and death complete the same! Time's wheel runs back or stops: Potter and clay endure. what need'st thou with earth's wheel? But I need. about thy rim. Bound dizzily. The new wine's foaming flow.--to the wheel of life With shapes and colours rife.What entered into thee. lamp's flash and trumpet's peal. take and use Thy work: Amend what flaws may lurk. What though the earlier grooves. Did I. heaven's consummate cup. The festal board. The Master's lips a-glow! Thou. thou. now as then.--mistake my end. What strain o' the stuff. Try thee and turn thee forth. in graver mood. Which ran the laughing loves Around thy base. no longer pause and press? What though. Perfect the cup as planned! That was. what warpings past the aim! My times be in Thy hand! 17 . is. who mouldest men. And since. wouldst fain arrest: Machinery just meant To give thy soul its bent. forsooth. Thee. to slake Thy thirst: So. not even while the whirl was worst. obey the sterner stress? Look not thou down but up! To uses of a cup. and shall be: Let age approve of youth. sufficiently impressed. This Present.