Five O'Clock Somewhere

Welcome to Five O'Clock Somewhere, where it doesn't matter what time zone you're in; it's five o'clock somewhere. We'll look at rural life, especially as it happens in Rio Arriba County, New Mexico, cats, sailing (particularly Etchells racing yachts), and bits of grammar and Victorian poetry.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Poetry corner: Robert Browning

Last time, we looked at Elizabeth Barrett Browning; this time, let's see what her husband, Robert, did. This isn't a complete poem; rather, it's the closing lines of "A Grammarian's Funeral," in which the grammarian's mourners have been climbing a mountain to find the proper place to lay him to rest.

Well, here's the platform, here's the proper place:
Hail to your purlieus,
All ye highfliers of the feathered race,
Swallows and curlews!
Here's the top-peak; the multitude below
Live, for they can, there:

This man decided not to Live but Know--
Bury this man there?
Here--here's his place, where meteors shoot, clouds form,
Lightnings are loosened,
Stars come and go! Let joy break with the storm,
Peace let the dew send!
Lofty designs must close in like effects:
Loftily lying,
Leave him--still loftier than the world suspects,
Living and dying.

Whew. This guy really had a lot of respect for us grammarians. This is definitely a poem that I can come back and reread when I feel as if nobody really cares what I'm up to.


Anonymous Jerry said...

One of my favorites, too, even though it makes me feel like a hack.

Sun Jul 24, 12:18:00 PM MDT  

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