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(1812-1889 / London / England)

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A Woman's Last Word

I.

Let's contend no more, Love,
Strive nor weep:
All be as before, Love,
---Only sleep!

II.

What so wild as words are?
I and thou
In debate, as birds are,
Hawk on bough!

III.

See the creature stalking
While we speak!
Hush and hide the talking,
Cheek on cheek!

IV.

What so false as truth is,
False to thee?
Where the serpent's tooth is
Shun the tree---

V.

Where the apple reddens
Never pry---
Lest we lose our Edens,
Eve and I.

VI.

Be a god and hold me
With a charm!
Be a man and fold me
With thine arm!

VII.

Teach me, only teach, Love
As I ought
I will speak thy speech, Love,
Think thy thought---

VIII.

Meet, if thou require it,
Both demands,
Laying flesh and spirit
In thy hands.

IX.

That shall be to-morrow
Not to-night:
I must bury sorrow
Out of sight:

X

---Must a little weep, Love,
(Foolish me!)
And so fall asleep, Love,
Loved by thee.

Submitted: Sunday, May 13, 2001
Edited: Sunday, May 13, 2001


Read poems about / on: sorrow, tree, truth, sleep, woman, love, god, night, women, lost

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Comments about this poem (Abt Volger by Robert Browning )

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  • * Sunprincess * (3/14/2014 8:10:00 PM)

    Teach me, only teach, Love
    As I ought
    I will speak thy speech, Love,
    Think thy thought- -

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Ramesh Rai (3/2/2014 1:57:00 AM)

    wonderful. loved and enjoyed reading.

  • Ramesh Rai (3/2/2014 1:55:00 AM)

    wonderful. loved and enjoyed reading.

  • Savita Tyagi (3/2/2013 9:15:00 AM)

    Wonderful poem. Robert Browning has really gone into woman's psyche to write this. Love the style too.

  • M.o Ryan (3/2/2012 8:29:00 PM)

    amazing one, i disagree with (Besa Dede) there's no such thing as best of one's poems, every single one is the best in its own way, that's why every poem of ours can be completely different from the others

  • Besa Dede (3/2/2012 10:49:00 AM)

    Another love poem, interestingly written, but not one of the best of Browning

  • Carlos Echeverria (3/2/2012 10:30:00 AM)

    The passion of lovers is limited only by bodily needs, in this case-sleep.

  • Manonton Dalan (3/2/2012 4:44:00 AM)

    comments make poem more interesting, while so many spend their lives just sleeping.

  • Gertrude Morris (3/2/2010 8:49:00 PM)

    'Where the apple reddens
    Never pry-
    Lest we lose our Edens,
    Eve and I.'

    The temptation of what we can't have has always intrigued us from the beginning of time. Though, while we might want it, when we have it, it either loses our interest, or there are other concequences. We are selfish creatures, and even in an act of love ponder that curiosity that either hurts us, or gets us killed, (figuratively and literally.)

  • Michael Pruchnicki (3/2/2010 10:05:00 AM)

    Keep in mind that Robert Browning was a master of the dramatic monologue - a lyric poem which reveals a 'soul in action.' The character in 'A Woman's Last Word' is a woman who speaks to a silent listener. The conversation is one-sided and the reader implicitly understands the situation of the man and woman - which was published in 1855 as a collection of many of Browning's most popular poems under the title MEN AND WOMEN. If we read the poem in that light we can grasp that many of the sentiments expressed are not spoken but are unvocalized feelings and thoughts about their relationship.

    Let's not argue, she thinks, but let's calm down and sleep in each other's arms. The wild words we exchanged earlier bring to mind quarreling birds chattering at each other. See the monster stalking us as we argue and rant! Let us hush and suppress our anger as we cling to each other. How can we accuse unless we have been seduced by the evil one? Do not question our own little garden of delight, unless we anticipate the fate of the two thrust out from Eden! Assume god like qualities as you enfold me in your arms! Teach me about love and I will learn the proper language of love! My body and soul belong to you, darling! But for now I must suffer the pangs of unrequited love and weep bitter tears! Foolish soul that I am I must weep a little longer before rest comes!

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