Home  »  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895  »  Epilogue

Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

Robert Browning 1812–89



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, imprison’d—

Low he lies who once so lov’d you, whom you lov’d so,

—Pity me?

Oh to love so, be so lov’d, 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 turn’d his back but march’d breast forward,

Never doubted clouds would break,

Never dream’d, though 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!”