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ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING
English poet
(1806 - 1861)
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Large, musing eyes, neither joyous nor sorry.
      - [Eyes]

Men get opinions as boys learn to spell, by reiteration chiefly.
      - [Opinion]

My heart is very tired--my strength is low--
  My hands are full of blossoms pluck'd before
    Held dead within them till myself shall die.
      - [Despondency]

Named softly as the household name of one whom God had taken.
      - [Names]

O Death, O Beyond,
  Thou art sweet, thou art strange!
      - [Future]

O Earth, so full of dreary noises!
  O men, with wailing in your voices!
    O delved gold, the wader's heap!
      O strife, O curse, that o'er it fall!
        God makes a silence through you all,
          And "giveth His beloved, sleep."
      - [Death]

Sing, seraph with the glory! heaven is high.
  Sing, poet with the sorrow! earth is low.
    The universe's inward voices cry
      "Amen" to either song of joy and woe.
        Sing, seraph, poet! sing on equally!
      - [Singers]

Souls are dangerous things to carry straight through all the spilt saltpetre of this world.
      - [Soul]

The beautiful seems right
  By force of beauty, and the feeble wrong
    Because of weakness.
      - [Beauty]

The plague of gold strikes far and near.
      - [Gold]

The tyrant should take heed to what he doth,
  Since every victim-carrion turns to use,
    And drives a chariot, like a god made wroth,
      Against each piled injustice.
      - [Tyrants]

Through heaven and earth
  God's will moves freely, and I follow it,
    As color follows light. He overflows
      The firmamental walls with deity,
        Therefore with love; His lightnings go abroad,
          His pity may do so, His angels must,
            Whene'er He gives them charges.
      - [Providence]

Thy love shall chant itself its own beatitudes, after its own life working. A child-kiss, set on thy sighing lips, shall make thee glad; a poor man, served, by thee, shall make thee rich; a rich man, helped by thee, shall make thee strong; thou shalt be served thyself by every sense of service which thou renderest.
      - [Benevolence]

'Tis aye a solemn thing to me
  To look upon a babe that sleeps--
    Wearing in its spirit-deeps
      The unrevealed mystery
        Of its Adam's taint and woe,
          Which, when they revealed lie,
            Will not let it slumber so.
      - [Infancy]

When God helps all the workers for His world,
  The singers shall have help of Him, not last.
      - [Singers]

When the dust of death has choked a great man's voice, the common words he said turn oracles, the common thoughts he yoked like horses draw like griffins.
      - [Death]

Where Christ brings His cross He brings His presence; and where He is none are desolate, and there is no room for despair.
      - [Despair]

Who loves
  Believes the impossible.
      - [Impossibility]

Whoso loves believes the impossible.
      - [Love]

Worn, gray olive-woods, which seem the fittest foliage for a dream.
      - [Trees]

As the moths around a taper,
  As the bees around a rose,
    As the gnats around a vapour,
      So the spirits group and close
        Round about a holy childhood, as if drinking its repose.
      - A Child Asleep [Angels]

How he sleepeth! having drunken
  Weary childhood's mandragore,
    From his pretty eyes have sunken
      Pleasures to make room for more--
        Sleeping near the withered nosegay which he pulled the day before.
      - A Child Asleep [Sleep]

Nosegays! leave them for the waking,
  Throw them earthward where they grew
    Dim are such, beside the breaking
      Amaranths he looks unto.
        Folded eyes see brighter colors than the open ever do.
      - A Child Asleep [Amaranths]

O rose, who dares to name thee?
  No longer roseate now, nor soft, nor sweet,
    But pale, and hard, and dry, as stubblewheat,--
      Kept seven years in a drawer, thy titles shame thee.
      - A Dead Rose [Roses]

And lilies white, prepared to touch
  The whitest thought, nor soil it much,
    Of dreamer turned to lover.
      - A Flower in a Letter [Lilies]


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