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Minstrelsy Analysis



Author: Poetry of Elizabeth Barrett Browning Type: Poetry Views: 284

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For ever, since my childish looks

Could rest on Nature's pictured books;

For ever, since my childish tongue

Could name the themes our bards have sung;

So long, the sweetness of their singing

Hath been to me a rapture bringing!

Yet ask me not the reason why

I have delight in minstrelsy.



I know that much whereof I sing,

Is shapen but for vanishing;

I know that summer's flower and leaf

And shine and shade are very brief,

And that the heart they brighten, may,

Before them all, be sheathed in clay! --

I do not know the reason why

I have delight in minstrelsy.



A few there are, whose smile and praise

My minstrel hope, would kindly raise:

But, of those few -- Death may impress

The lips of some with silentness;

While some may friendship's faith resign,

And heed no more a song of mine. --

Ask not, ask not the reason why

I have delight in minstrelsy.



The sweetest song that minstrels sing,

Will charm not Joy to tarrying;

The greenest bay that earth can grow,

Will shelter not in burning woe;

A thousand voices will not cheer,

When one is mute that aye is dear! --

Is there, alas! no reason why

I have delight in minstrelsy.



I do not know! The turf is green

Beneath the rain's fast-dropping sheen,

Yet asks not why that deeper hue

Doth all its tender leaves renew; --

And I, like-minded, am content,

While music to my soul is sent,

To question not the reason why

I have delight in minstrelsy.



Years pass -- my life with them shall pass:

And soon, the cricket in the grass

And summer bird, shall louder sing

Than she who owns a minstrel's string.

Oh then may some, the dear and few,

Recall her love, whose truth they knew;

When all forget to question why

She had delight in minstrelsy!





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