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IS ruggedness arises mainly from his de
termination to say precisely what he wants to say. He allows no considera
tion to deter him from expressing his thought with perfect exactness. He is ironical, but he is passionate. His demeanour is composed, yet fire burns below. No man is more capable of understanding the subtle abandonment and the subtle extravagance of love.
It is given to some few writers to add to our sense of being; their pages are surcharged with soul, so that the soul of the reader becomes more vital, and his destiny seems deeper and larger. One remembers how this has been done often by a line of Shakespere or of Wordsworth, and to that great same soul-ascribing race of men Robert Browning belongs—To those rather who help us to see great truths, than to manipulate little ones.
What I do And what I dream include thee, as the wine Must taste of its own grapes. And when I sue God for myself, he hears that name of thine, And sees within my eyes the tears of two.
E. B. BROWNING.
His highest glory is the unflinching zeal with which he has mastered and given to the world the results of human strife, toil, and achievement.
JOHN T. NETTLESHIP.
E. B. BROWNING.
IND O beloved voices, upon which
Ye brake off in the middle of that song We sang together softly, to enrich The poor
world with the sense of love, and witch The heart out of things evil, -I am strong, Knowing ye are not lost for aye among The hills, with last year's thrush. God keeps a
niche In heaven to hold our idols ; and albeit He brake them to our faces, and denied That our close kisses should impair their white, I know we shall behold them raised, complete, The dust swept from their beauty,-glorified New Memnons singing in the great God-light.
LYRIC Love, half angel and half bird,
I commence my song, my due To God, who best taught song by gift of Thee, Except with bent head and beseeching handThat still, despite the distance and the dark, What was, again may be; some interchange Of grace, some splendour once thy very thought, Some benediction anciently thy smile.
I praised thee not while living ; what to thee
poor, less weak; Oh what hath death with souls like thine to do?
HEN I consider how my light is spent
And that one talent which is death to hide, Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent To serve therewith my Maker, and present My true account, lest He, returning, chide; “ Doth God exact day labour, light denied ?" I fondly ask, but Patience, to prevent That murmur, soon replies :-“ God doth not need Either man's work, or his own gifts; who best Bear His mild yoke, they serve Him best; His state Is kingly: thousands at his bidding speed And post o'er land and ocean without rest; They also serve who only stand and wait.
E image to ourselves the breathless
silence in which we should listen to his slightest word, the passionate venera
tion with which we should kneel to kiss his hand, the earnestness with which we should endeavour to console him, if, indeed, such a spirit could need consolation, for the neglect of an age unworthy of his talents, and the eagerness with which we should contest with his daughters the privilege of reading Homer to him.
Here Milton's eyes strike piercing-dim;
E. B. BROWNING.
Thy soul was like a star, and dwelt apart:
In Milton only, first and last, is the power of the sublime revealed. In Milton only does this great agency blaze and glow as a furnace kept up to a white heat.