Prospice

By Robert Browning 1812–1889 Robert Browning
Fear death?—to feel the fog in my throat,
         The mist in my face,
When the snows begin, and the blasts denote
         I am nearing the place,
The power of the night, the press of the storm,
         The post of the foe;
Where he stands, the Arch Fear in a visible form,
         Yet the strong man must go:
For the journey is done and the summit attained,
         And the barriers fall,
Though a battle's to fight ere the guerdon be gained,
         The reward of it all.
I was ever a fighter, so—one fight more,
         The best and the last!
I would hate that death bandaged my eyes and forbore,
         And bade me creep past.
No! let me taste the whole of it, fare like my peers
         The heroes of old,
Bear the brunt, in a minute pay glad life's arrears
         Of pain, darkness and cold.
For sudden the worst turns the best to the brave,
         The black minute's at end,
And the elements' rage, the fiend-voices that rave,
         Shall dwindle, shall blend,
Shall change, shall become first a peace out of pain,
         Then a light, then thy breast,
O thou soul of my soul! I shall clasp thee again,
         And with God be the rest!

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Poet Robert Browning 1812–1889

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Subjects Growing Old, Living, Death

Occasions Funerals

Poetic Terms Ballad, Metaphor

 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 . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Growing Old, Living, Death

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Poetic Terms Ballad, Metaphor

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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