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ROBERT BROWNING
English poet
(1812 - 1889)
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Things are where things are, and, as fate has willed,
  So shall they be fulfilled.
      - [Fate]

'Tis an awkward thing to play with souls,
  And matter enough to save one's own.
      - [Soul]

Truth is truth howe'er it strike.
      - [Truth]

Truth never hurts the teller.
      - [Truth]

Wander at will,
  Day after day,--
    Wander away,
      Wandering still--
        Soul that canst soar!
          Body may slumber:
            Body shall cumber
              Soul-flight no more.
      - [Soul]

What most moved him was a certain meal on beans.
      - [Food]

Who knows most, doubts most; entertaining hope means recognizing fear.
      - [Doubt]

There's a woman like a dew-drop,
  She's so purer than the purest.
      - A Blot in the 'Scutcheon (act I, sc. 3)
        [Chastity]

Finds progress, man's distinctive mark alone,
  Not God's, and not the beast's;
    God is, they are,
      Man partly is, and wholly hopes to be.
      - A Death in the Desert [Progress]

For I say, this is death and the sole death,
  When a man's loss comes to him from his gain,
    Darkness from light, from knowledge ignorance,
      And lack of love from love made manifest.
      - A Death in the Desert [Death]

What? Was man made a wheel-work to wind up,
  And be discharged, and straight wound up anew?
    No! grown, his growth lasts; taught, he ne'er forgets;
      May learn a thousand things, not twice the same.
      - A Death in the Desert (l. 447) [Growth]

That low man seeks a little thing to do,
  Sees it and does it;
    This high man, with a great thing to pursue,
      Dies ere he knows it.
        That low man goes on adding one to one,
          His hundreds soon hit:
            His high man, aiming at a million,
              Misses an unit.
      - A Grammarian's Funeral [Action : Success]

A face to lose youth for, to occupy age
  With the dream of, meet death with.
      - A Likeness [Face]

I trust in Nature for the stable laws
  Of beauty and utility. Spring shall plant
    And Autumn garner to the end of time.
      I trust in God--the right shall be the right
        And other than the wrong, while he endures;
          I trust in my own soul, that can perceive
            The outward and the inward, Nature's good
              And God's.
      - A Soul's Tragedy (act I) [Nature]

There shall never be one lost good! What was shall live as before;
  The evil is null, is nought, is silence implying sound;
    What was good shall be good, with, for evil, so much good more;
      On the earth the broken arcs; in the heaven a perfect round.
      - Abt Vogler (IX) [Goodness]

Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp,
  Or what's a heaven for?
      - Andrea del Sarto (l. 97) [Heaven : Man]

It's wiser being good than bad;
  It's safer being meek than fierce:
    It's fitter being sane than mad.
      My own hope is, a sun will pierce
        The thickest cloud earth ever stretched;
          That, after Last, returns the First,
            Though a wide compass round be fetched;
              That what began best, can't end worst,
                Nor what God blessed once, prove accurst.
      - Apparent Failure (VII) [Comparison]

Have you found your life distasteful?
  My life did, and does, smack sweet.
    Was your youth of pleasure wasteful?
      Mine I saved and hold complete.
        Do your joys with age diminish?
          When mine fail me, I'll complain.
            Must in death your daylight finish?
              My sun sets to rise again.
      - At the "Mermaid" (st. 10) [Life]

But how carve way i' the life that lies before,
  If bent on groaning ever for the past?
      - Balaustion's Adventure [Past]

The grand perhaps.
      - Bishop Blougram's Apology [Death]

I think, am sure, a brother's love exceeds
  All the world's loves in its unworldliness.
      - Blot on the 'Scutcheon (act II, sc. 1)
        [Love]

Oh, the little more, and how much it is!
  And the little less, and what worlds away.
      - By the Fireside (st. 39) [Poverty]

God's justice, tardy though it prove perchance,
  Rests never on the track until it reach
    Delinquency.
      - Ceuciaja [Justice]

For the preacher's merit or demerit,
  It were to be wished that the flaws were fewer
    In the earthen vessel, holding treasure,
      But the main thing is, does it hold good measure
        Heaven soon sets right all other matters!
      - Christmas Eve (canto XXII) [Preaching]

And I have written three books on the soul,
  Proving absurd all written hitherto,
    And putting us to ignorance again.
      - Cleon [Soul]


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