Robert Browning

(1812-1889 / London / England)

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Life In A Love


Escape me?
Never---
Beloved!
While I am I, and you are you,
So long as the world contains us both,
Me the loving and you the loth
While the one eludes, must the other pursue.
My life is a fault at last, I fear:
It seems too much like a fate, indeed!
Though I do my best I shall scarce succeed.
But what if I fail of my purpose here?
It is but to keep the nerves at strain,
To dry one's eyes and laugh at a fall,
And, baffled, get up and begin again,---
So the chace takes up one's life ' that's all.
While, look but once from your farthest bound
At me so deep in the dust and dark,
No sooner the old hope goes to ground
Than a new one, straight to the self-same mark,
I shape me---
Ever
Removed!

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

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  • Krishnakumar Chandrasekar Nair (12/8/2013 10:22:00 AM)

    while I am I and you are you
    And the morn fresh with dew
    And both in the prime of youth
    Let us play this game of love
    Where neither wins as proved by time
    And the evening finds both of us cold and blue.... (Report) Reply

  • Ben G (8/14/2011 10:58:00 PM)

    This is an emotive and beautiful poem. When I first read it I didn't think too much of it to be honest, however after a few readings it grew very much on me! Without being as verbose as others in this thread, I'd like to say it is really very good, very sad, very true to life and the pursuit of unacquainted love. (Report) Reply

  • Cs Vishwanathan (12/8/2010 11:49:00 AM)

    Browning is rarely at his best in these short pieces. He doesn't have the rhythmic fluidity and lyrical limpidity of Tennyson to impart to his poetic statements the semantic and emotive clarity of meaning required in such short non-discursive non-dramatic sketches.Even here Browning's quality of many-leveled meaningful interpretations and references are quite noticeable.. In this he excels all others in his full length works. (Report) Reply

  • Cecilia Nicoletti (12/8/2009 12:14:00 PM)

    oh! great poem amazing shown of LOve and commitment! ! ! ! !
    Only a few can feel that way and act in consecuence.
    Only a poet can claim it that way! ! ! (Report) Reply

  • Emma_1221@list.ru Adamyan (12/8/2009 2:04:00 AM)

    love collects many notions... maybe it was created just not to name each alone. although each person has one`s set of the notions... as for me love is a deep respect and trust towards a person i feel sexual attraction. and all the emotions can be found in this poem (Report) Reply

  • Ramesh T A (12/8/2009 1:40:00 AM)

    This poem is an example of his philosophy that arc in the world becomes full circle in heaven! Nice and wonderful, simple, typical poem of Browning you have given an opportunity to read and enjoy once again! (Report) Reply

  • jimmy zepp (12/8/2008 1:57:00 PM)

    Well, show me a man, didn't love at all...To be born, means, to love and be loved...But whom to love, and whom not? This is the question... (Report) Reply

  • Michael Pruchnicki (12/8/2008 10:07:00 AM)

    The speaker is a lover obsessed with the object of his desire. For the purpose of explication, I assume it's a male, like so many of Browning's characters. And like so many of the driven characters in Browning's poetry, there is much to admire in his endless pursuit. He knows that his loved one has rejected him for good and all, but he 'dries his eyes and laughs at a fall' and rises for another go at the golden ring. 'Escape me? /Never-/Beloved! ' The irony lies in the fact that though 'the chase takes up one's life, ' better that than a life spent without hope-indeed, as he says, 'I shape me- /Ever /Removed! ' Perhaps self-knowledge is 'starkly terrifying' for some, but for others it is life itself!

    'Andrea Del Sarto' portrays a soul in similar distress, a frustrated painter who says at one point- 'I regret little, I would change still less, /Since there my past life lies, why alter it? ' One who has shaped his life for good or ill bears no ill will no matter the outcome. His reach must exceed his grasp! (Report) Reply

  • Isaac 'slimx' (12/8/2008 9:49:00 AM)

    In this piece, life, fate, destiny and confusion all came face to face...nice articulation. (Report) Reply

  • Is It Poetry (12/8/2008 5:57:00 AM)

    A classic example of courtship, confusion, bereavement
    never understanding yet trying long after the rose
    has faded knowing that the cold embrace of reason
    is never enough....Starkly terrifying what awaits the fool... (Report) Reply

Read all 15 comments »

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