The Lost Mistress

By Robert Browning 1812–1889 Robert Browning
All’s over, then: does truth sound bitter
    As one at first believes?
Hark, ’tis the sparrows’ good-night twitter
    About your cottage eaves!

And the leaf-buds on the vine are woolly,
    I noticed that, today;
One day more bursts them open fully
    – You know the red turns grey.

Tomorrow we meet the same then, dearest?
    May I take your hand in mine?
Mere friends are we, – well, friends the merest
    Keep much that I resign:

For each glance of the eye so bright and black,
    Though I keep with heart’s endeavor, –
Your voice, when you wish the snowdrops back,
    Though it stay in my soul for ever! –

Yet I will but say what mere friends say,
    Or only a thought stronger;
I will hold your hand but as long as all may,
    Or so very little longer!

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Poet Robert Browning 1812–1889

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Subjects Love, Break-ups & Vexed Love

 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 Love, Break-ups & Vexed Love

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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