James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.

December 12

Robert Browning

By Walter Savage Landor (1775–1864)

(Died Dec. 12, 1889)

THERE is delight in singing, though none hear

Beside the singer; and there is delight

In praising, though the praiser sit alone

And see the praised far off him, far above.

Shakespeare is not our poet, but the world’s,

Therefore on him no speech! and brief for thee,

Browning! Since Chaucer was alive and hale,

No man hath walked along our roads with step

So active, so inquiring eye, or tongue

So varied in discourse. But warmer climes

Give brighter plumage, stronger wing; the breeze

Of Alpine heights thou playest with, borne on

Beyond Sorrento and Amalfi, where

The Siren waits thee, singing song for song.