At the midnight in the silence of the sleep-time,
When you set your fancies free,
Will they pass to where–by death, fools think, imprisoned–
Low he lies who once so loved you whom you loved so,
Oh to love so, be so loved, yet so mistaken!
What had I on earth to do
With the slothful, with the mawkish, the unmanly?
Like the aimless, helpless, hopeless, did I drivel
One who never turned his back but marched breast forward,
Never doubted clouds would break,
Never dreamed, tho’ right were worsted, wrong would triumph,
Held we fall to rise, are baffled to fight better,
Sleep to wake.
No, at noonday in the bustle of man’s work-time
Greet the unseen with a cheer!
Bid him forward, breast and back as either should be,
“Strive and thrive!” cry “Speed,–fight on, fare ever
There as here!”
EPILOGUE TO ASOLANDO. (PAGE 94.)
Sharp’s Life of Browning has the following passage: “Shortly before the great bell of San Marco struck ten, he turned and asked if any news had come concerning Asolando, published that day. His son read him a telegram from the publishers, telling how great the demand was, and how favorable were the advance articles in the leading papers. The dying poet turned and muttered, ‘How gratifying!’ When the last toll of St. Mark’s had left a deeper stillness than before, those by the bedside saw a yet profounder silence on the face of him whom they loved.”