Never the Time and the Place

By Robert Browning 1812–1889 Robert Browning
Never the time and the place
         And the loved one all together!
This path—how soft to pace!
         This May—what magic weather!
Where is the loved one's face?
In a dream that loved one's face meets mine,
         But the house is narrow, the place is bleak
Where, outside, rain and wind combine
         With a furtive ear, if I strive to speak,
         With a hostile eye at my flushing cheek,
With a malice that marks each word, each sign!
O enemy sly and serpentine,
Uncoil thee from the waking man!
         Do I hold the Past
         Thus firm and fast
Yet doubt if the Future hold I can?
This path so soft to pace shall lead
Thro' the magic of May to herself indeed!
Or narrow if needs the house must be,
Outside are the storms and strangers: we
Oh, close, safe, warm sleep I and she,—
I and she!

Discover this poem’s context and related poetry, articles, and media.

Poet Robert Browning 1812–1889

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Subjects Spring, Living, Love, Nature, Time & Brevity, Home Life, Relationships, Weather, Romantic Love, Unrequited Love

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

 Robert  Browning

Biography

Although the early part of Robert Browning’s creative life was spent in comparative obscurity, he has come to be regarded as one of the most important poets of the Victorian period. His dramatic monologues and the psycho-historical epic The Ring and the Book (1868-1869), a novel in verse, have established him as a major figure in the history of English poetry. His claim to attention as a children’s writer is more modest, resting . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Spring, Living, Love, Nature, Time & Brevity, Home Life, Relationships, Weather, Romantic Love, Unrequited Love

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

Report a problem with this poem

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.