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The Poetical Works of Robert Browning Volume 5


This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1894 edition. Excerpt: ... Even as Formosus centuries ago. I have worn through this sombre wintry day, With winter in my soul beyond the world's, Over these dismalest of documents Which drew night down on me ere eve befell, --215 Pleadings and counter-pleadings, figure of fact Beside fact's self, these summaries to-wit, --How certain three were slain by certain five: I read here why it was, and how it went, And how the chief o' the five preferred excuse, 220 And how law rather chose defence should lie, --What argument he urged by wary word When free to play off wile, start subterfuge, And what the unguarded groan told, torture's feat When law grew brutal, outbroke, overbore 225 And glutted hunger on the truth, at last, --No matter for the flesh and blood between. All's a clear rede and no more riddle now. Truth, nowhere, lies yet everywhere in these--Not absolutely in a portion, yet 230 Evolvible from the whole: evolved at last Painfully, held tenaciously by me. Therefore there is not any doubt to clear When I shall write the brief word presently And chink the hand-bell, which I pause to do. 235 Irresolute? Not I, more than the mound s With the pine-trees on it yonder! Some surmise, Perchance, that since man's wit is fallible, Mine may fail here? Suppose it so, --what then? Say, --Guido, I count guilty, there 's no babe 240 So guiltless, for I misconceive the man! What 's in the chance should move me from my mind? If, as I walk in a rough country-side, Peasants of mine cry "Thou art he can help, "Lord of the land and counted wise to boot: 245 "Look at our brother, strangling in his foam, "He fell so where we find him, --prove thy worth!" I may presume, pronounce, "A frenzy-fit, "A falling-sickness or a fever-stroke! "Breathe a vein, copiously let blood at once!" 250 So... Hide synopsis

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