Page by Page Books
Read Books Online, for Free
Lives of Girls Who Became Famous Sarah Knowles Bolton

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Page 6 of 9

Table Of Contents: Lives of Girls Who Became Famous

Previous Page

Next Page

Previous Chapter

Next Chapter

More Books

    "And her head was on his breast, where she smiled as one at rest,--
    Toll slowly.
    'Ring,' she cried, 'O vesper-bell, in the beech-wood's old chapelle!'
    But the passing-bell rings best!

    "They have caught out at the rein, which Sir Guy threw loose--in vain,--
    Toll slowly.
    For the horse in stark despair, with his front hoofs poised in air,
    On the last verge rears amain.

    "Now he hangs, he rocks between, and his nostrils curdle in!--
    Toll slowly.
    Now he shivers head and hoof, and the flakes of foam fall off,
    And his face grows fierce and thin!

    "And a look of human woe from his staring eyes did go,
    Toll slowly.
    And a sharp cry uttered he, in a foretold agony of the headlong death below."

Who can ever forget that immortal Cry of the Children, which awoke all England to the horrors of child-labor? That, and Hood's Song of the Shirt, will never die.

Who has not read and loved one of the most tender poems in any language, Bertha in the Lane?--

We have hundreds more books for your enjoyment. Read them all!

"Yes, and He too! let him stand
In thy thoughts, untouched by blame.
Could he help it, if my hand
He had claimed with hasty claim?
That was wrong perhaps--but then
Such things be--and will, again.
Women cannot judge for men.

* * * * *

"And, dear Bertha, let me keep
On this hand this little ring,
Which at night, when others sleep,
I can still see glittering.
Let me wear it out of sight,
In the grave,--where it will light
All the Dark up, day and night."

No woman has ever understood better the fulness of love, or described it more purely and exquisitely.

One person among the many who had read Miss Barrett's poems, felt their genius, because he had genius in his own soul, and that person was Robert Browning. That she admired his poetic work was shown in Lady Geraldine's Courtship, when Bertram reads to his lady-love:--

    "Or at times a modern volume,--Wordsworth's solemn-thoughted idyl,
    Howitt's ballad verse, or Tennyson's enchanted reverie,
    Or from Browning some Pomegranate, which, if cut deep down the middle,
    Shows a heart within blood-tinctured, of a veined humanity."

Mr. Browning determined to meet the unknown singer. Years later he told the story to Elizabeth C. Kinney, when she had gone with the happy husband and wife on a day's excursion from Florence. She says: "Finding that the invalid did not receive strangers, he wrote her a letter, intense with his desire to see her. She reluctantly consented to an interview. He flew to her apartment, was admitted by the nurse, in whose presence only could he see the deity at whose shrine he had long worshipped. But the golden opportunity was not to be lost; love became oblivious to any save the presence of the real of its ideal. Then and there Robert Browning poured his impassioned soul into hers; though his tale of love seemed only an enthusiast's dream. Infirmity had hitherto so hedged her about, that she deemed herself forever protected from all assaults of love. Indeed, she felt only injured that a fellow-poet should take advantage, as it were, of her indulgence in granting him an interview, and requested him to withdraw from her presence, not attempting any response to his proposal, which she could not believe in earnest. Of course, he withdrew from her sight, but not to withdraw the offer of his heart and hand; on the contrary, to repeat it by letter, and in such wise as to convince her how 'dead in earnest' he was. Her own heart, touched already when she knew it not, was this time fain to listen, be convinced, and overcome.

Page 6 of 9 Previous Page   Next Page
Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
Lives of Girls Who Became Famous
Sarah Knowles Bolton

Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004