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A Serenade At The Villa Analysis

Author: Poetry of Robert Browning Type: Poetry Views: 288

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That was I, you heard last night,

When there rose no moon at all,

Nor, to pierce the strained and tight

Tent of heaven, a planet small:

Life was dead and so was light.


Not a twinkle from the fly,

Not a glimmer from the worm;

When the crickets stopped their cry,

When the owls forbore a term,

You heard music; that was I.


Earth turned in her sleep with pain,

Sultrily suspired for proof:

In at heaven and out again,

Lightning!---where it broke the roof,

Bloodlike, some few drops of rain.


What they could my words expressed,

O my love, my all, my one!

Singing helped the verses best,

And when singing's best was done,

To my lute I left the rest.


So wore night; the East was gray,

White the broad-faced hemlock-flowers:

There would be another day;

Ere its first of heavy hours

Found me, I had passed away.


What became of all the hopes,

Words and song and lute as well?

Say, this struck you---``When life gropes

``Feebly for the path where fell

``Light last on the evening slopes,


``One friend in that path shall be,

``To secure my step from wrong;

``One to count night day for me,

``Patient through the watches long,

``Serving most with none to see.''


Never say---as something bodes---

``So, the worst has yet a worse!

``When life halts 'neath double loads,

``Better the taskmaster's curse

``Than such music on the roads!


``When no moon succeeds the sun,

``Nor can pierce the midnight's tent

``Any star, the smallest one,

``While some drops, where lightning rent,

``Show the final storm begun---


``When the fire-fly hides its spot,

``When the garden-voices fail

``In the darkness thick and hot,---

``Shall another voice avail,

``That shape be where these are not?


``Has some plague a longer lease,

``Proffering its help uncouth?

``Can't one even die in peace?

``As one shuts one's eyes on youth,

``Is that face the last one sees?''


Oh how dark your villa was,

Windows fast and obdurate!

How the garden grudged me grass

Where I stood---the iron gate

Ground its teeth to let me pass!


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