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Must a little weep, Love,-foolish me!

And so fall asleep, Love, loved by thee!'
At the risk of quoting lines amongst the best known of Mr.
Browning's poetry, we make room for these affectionate · Home-
Thoughts ; ' being, as we are, only too glad to catch the writer
on English ground, where we should like to meet with him
oftener :-

• Oh, to be in England
Now that April's there,
And whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brush-wood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough
In England—now !

And after April, when May follows,
And the whitethroat builds, and all the swallows !
Hark, where my blossomed pear-tree in the hedge
Leans to the field and scatters on the clover
Blossoms and dew-drops—at the bent spray's edge-
That's the wise thrush: he sings each song twice over,
Lest you should think he never could recapture
The first fine careless rapture!
And though the fields look rough with hoary dew,
All will be gay when noontide wakes anew
The buttercups, the little children's dower
– Far brighter than this gaudy melon flower!'

Nobly, nobly Cape Saint Vincent to the north-west died away;
Sunset ran, one glorious blood-red, reeking into Cadiz Bay;
Bluish mid the burning water full in face Trafalgar lay :
In the dimmest north-east distance, dawned Gibraltar grand and

gray ;
“Here and here did England help me; how can I help England ?”

- say, Whoso turns as I, this evening, turns to God to praise and pray, While Jove's planet rises yonder, silent over Africa.'

Again, a picture of life from the modern Italian point of view


* Had I plenty of money, money enough and to spare,
The house for me, no doubt, were a house in the city square;
Ah, such a life, such a life, as one leads at the window there!


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Something to see, by Bacchus, something to hear, at least !
There the whole day long, one's life is a perfect feast;
While up at a villa one lives, I maintain it, no more than a beast.
Well now, look at our villa! stuck like the horn of a bull
Just on a mountain's edge as bare as the creature's skull,
Save a mere shag of a bush, with hardly a leaf to pull !
-I scratch my own, sometimes, to see if the hair's turned wool.
But the city, oh the city-the square with the houses ! Why?
They are stone-faced, white as a curd, there's something to take the

eye! Houses in four straight lines, not a single front awry! You watch who crosses and gossips, who saunters, who hurries by; Green blinds, as a matter of course, to draw when the sun gets high; And the shops with fanciful signs, which are painted properly. What of a villa ? Though winter be over in March by rights, 'Tis May perhaps ere the snow shall have withered well off the

heights: You've the brown ploughed land before, where the oxen steam and

wheeze, And the hills over-smoked behind by the faint grey

olive-trees. Is it better in May, I ask you ? you've summer all at once ; In a day he leaps complete with a few strong April suns ! 'Mid the sharp short emerald wheat, scarce risen three fingers well, The wild tulip, at the end of its tube, blows out its great red bell Like a thin clear bubble of blood, for the children to pick and sell. Is it ever hot in the square ? There's a fountain to spout and

splash! In the shade it sings and springs; in the shine such foam-bows flash On the horses with curling fish-tails, that prance and paddle and

pash Round the lady atop in the conch—fifty gazers do not abash, Though all that she wears is some weeds round her waist in a sort

of sash ! All the year long at the villa, nothing's to see though you linger, Except yon cypress that points like Death's lean lifted forefinger. Some think fireflies pretty when they mix in the corn and mingle, Or thrid the stinking hemp till the stalks of it seem a-tingle. Late August or early September, the stunning cicala is shrill, And the bees keep their tiresome whine round the resinous firs on

the hill. Enough of the seasons,—I spare you the months of the fever and

chill. Ere opening your eyes in the city, the blessed church bells begin: No sooner the bells leave off, than the diligence rattles in : You get the pick of the news, and it costs you never a pin. Vol. 118.-No. 235.



the gate

By and by there's the travelling doctor gives pills, lets blood, draws

teeth ; Or the Pulcinello-trumpet breaks up the market beneath. At the post-office such a scene-picturc—the new play, piping hot ! And a notice how, only this morning, three liberal thieves were

shot. Above it behold the archbishop's most fatherly of rebukes, And beneath, with his crown and his lion, some little new law of

the Duke's! Or a sonnet with flowery marge, to the Reverend Don So-and-so Who is Dante, Boccaccio, Petrarca, Saint Jerome, and Cicero, “And moreover," (the sonnet goes rhyming,)“ the skirts of St. Paul

has reached, Having preached us those six Lent-lectures more unctuous than

ever he preached.” Noon strikes,-here sweeps the procession ! our Lady borne smiling

and smart With a pink gauze gown all spangles, and seven swords stuck in her

heart! Bang, whang, whang goes the drum, tootle-te-tootle the fife ; No keeping one's haunches still : it's the greatest pleasure in life. But bless you, it's dear—it's dear! fowls, wine, at double the rate. They have clapped a new tax upon salt, and what oil pays passing It's a horror to think of. And so, the villa for me, not the city! Beggars can scarcely be choosers: but still-ah, the pity, the pity! Look, two and two go the priests, then the monks with cowls and

sandals, And the penitents dressed in white shirts, a-holding the yellow

candles; One, he carries a flag up straight, and another & cross with handles, And the Duke's guard brings up the rear, for the better prevention

of scandals : | Bang, whang, whang goes the drum, tootle-te-tootle the fife. Oh, a day in the city-square, there is no such pleasure in life!'

Notwithstanding that spirit of impatience to be felt in many of Mr. Browning's pages, that tendency which we have admitted, to dart his thoughts at us after the manner of these lines :

"A shaft from the Devil's bow
Pierced to our ingle-glow,

And the friends were friend and foe!' or, to spring a mine of thought in a moment, thus:

• Me do you leave aghast

With the memories we amassed ?' yet he has given us poems in which the struggling forces have all blended in a brooding calm. These are generally in


blank verse, which does not impose the difficulties of a more lyrical movement. One piece of this quiet kind is a surpassingly beautiful picture of Andrea del Sarto’ and his wife; a twilight scene, full of the sweetest silvery greys. It is twilight, too, in more senses than one. Twilight in the poor painter's soul, whose love-longings bring him no rest ; light up no evening star large and luminous against the coming night. The poem is sweet to sadness; the pathos of the painter's pleadings with the bold bad woman whom he loved, and wbo dragged down his lifted arm, broke his loving heart, is very touching. The evening hush, the twilight tone, the slow musical speech, serve solemnly to lay bare the weary soul and wasted life, and make clear the wreck lying below the surface, that is trying so piteously to smile, with a cheery effort to love and labour on.

There is a stately calm in the poem called the 'Strange Medical Experience of Karshish, the Arab Physician' Karshish is on his travels, picking up the crumbs of learning, and he makes a report of his discoveries in a letter to his master, Abib, the all-sagacious' in medical art. But the real object of emptying his wallet is not to show the curious spider that 'weaves no web,' the blue-flowering borage,' the Aleppo sort, more nitrous than theirs at home, the three samples of true snake-stone,' or any other little rarities he may have found. The secret truth is, he has met with one Lazarus, a Jew,' and he wishes to report his case to the master; only, being ashamed and bewildered at the hold which the man's story has taken upon his mind, he approaches the subject in a stealthy way, and with windings truly oriental. Of course the tale is despicable, still it were best to keep nothing back in writing to the learned leech, He means only to allude to it in an offhand manner; just skirt the edge of the subject; but it fascinates him, and draws him into a whirling vortex of wild strange thoughts which he cannot resist.

And first, the man's own firm conviction rests
That he was dead (in fact they buried him),
That he was dead and then restored to life
By a Nazarene physician of his tribe;

-Sayeth the same bade "Rise," and he did rise.'
Such cases are diurnal, the master may reply.

this figment.' For here is a man of healthy habit, much beyond the ordinary; he is sanguine, proportioned, fifty years


Think, could we penetrate by any drug,
And bathe the wearied soul and worried flesh,
And bring it clear and fair by three days' sleep!
Whence has the man the balm that brightens all ?'

Not so

He points out the effect of this trance on the mind of Lazarus, and the way in which he takes up his after-lise. This grown man now looks on the world with the eyes of a child. He is witless of the size, and sum, and value of things. Wonder and doubt come into play at the wrong time, "preposterously at cross-purposes.'

Heaven opened to a soul while yet on earth,
Earth forced on a soul's use while seeing Heaven.
He holds on firmly to some thread of life
Which runs across some vast distracting orb
Of glory on either side that meagre thread,
Which, conscious of, he must not enter yet,
The spiritual life around the earthly life!
The law of that is known to him as this
His heart and brain move there, his feet stay here.
So is the man perplexed with impulse
Sudden to start off crosswise, not straight on.
And oft the man's soul springs into his face
As if he saw again and heard again

sage that bade him “Rise,” and he did rise.' He works hard at his daily trade, all the humbler for the exaltation that made him the proud possessor of such a secret.

"Sayeth he will wait patient to the last
For that same death which will restore his being

To equilibrium.' Some of his friends led Lazarus into the physician's presence obedient as a sheep. He did not listen except when spoken to; he folded his hands and let them talk, watching the flies that buzzed. And yet no fool, says Karshish, nor apathetic by nature.

This man so cured regards the curer then,
As-God forgive me—who but God himself,
Creator and sustainer of the world,
That came and dwelt in flesh on it a while!
And must have so avouched himself, in fact,

In hearing of this very Lazarus.' Of course, says Karshish, this is the raving of stark madness, and yet here is a case before which science is dumb and made ashamed. What is the fact in the presence of which he stands, and is touched with awe?

• The

very God! think, Abib; dost thou think?
So, the All-Great, were the All-Loving too-
So, through the thunder comes a human voice
Saying, "O heart I made, a heart beats hero!
Face, My hands fashioned, see it in Myself.


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