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And the blue sky, and in the mind of man;
ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING.
The most learned, and perhaps the most talented, of English female poets. Art, life, politics, and religion are treated by her with great vigor of thought, and simplicity of language.
PRINCIPAL WRITINGS. “ Casa Guidi Windows,” a political poem;
“ The Seraphim;)
A Drama of Exile;' “ The Duchess May; “ Lady Geraldine's Courtship;' " Bertha in the Lane; “ The Cry of the Children;" " Cowper's Grave; ” “ Prometheus Bound,” translation from Aschylus; and “Aurora Leigh,” her greatest work.
MOTHER AND POET.
And one of them shot in the west by the sea.
Let none look at me!
Yet I was a poetess only last year;
And good at my art, for a woman, men said.
For ever instead.
What art is she good at but hurting her breast
by that test.
And I pro
What art's for a woman ? To hold on her knees
Both darlings; to feel all their arms round her throat
To dream and to dote.
5. To teach them. . . . It stings there. I made them indeed
Speak plain the word “ country.” I taught them, no doubt, That a country's a thing men should die for at need. I prated of liberty, rights, and about
The tyrant turned out.
And, when their eyes flashed, oh
beautiful I exulted; nay, let them go forth at the wheels Of the guns, and denied not. But then the surprise When one sits quite alone! then one weeps, then one kneels.
God! how the house feels!
With my kisses, of camp-life and glory, and how
With their green laurel-bough.
Then was triumph at Turin. “ Ancona was free!”
And some one came out of the cheers in the street, With a face pale as stone, to say something to me. My Guido was dead! I fell down at his feet
While they cheered in the street.
I bore it: friends soothed me. My grief looked sublime
As the ransom of Italy. One boy remained
To the hight he had gained.
And letters still came, -shorter, sadder, more strong,
Writ now but in one hand. “ I was not to faint. One loved me for two;
would be with me ere long : And · Viva Italia’he died for, our saint,
Who forbids our complaint.”
My Nanni would add, “ He was safe, and aware
Of a presence that turned off the balls; was imprest It was Guido himself, who knew what I could bear; And how 'twas impossible, quite dispossessed,
To live on for the rest."
12. On which, without pause, up the telegraph-line
Swept smoothly the next news from Gaëta, “ Shot!” Tell his mother. Ah, ah ! “his,” “their” mother, not “mine." No voice says “My mother" again to me. What!
You think Guido forgot ?
Are souls straight so happy, that, dizzy with heaven,
They drop earth's affection, conceive not of woe ? I think not. Themselves were too lately forgiven Through that love and sorrow which reconciled so
The above and below.
14. O Christ of the seven wounds, who look’dst through the dark
To the face of thy mother! consider, I pray, How we common mothers stand desolate; mark Whose sons, not being Christs, die with eyes turned away,
And no last word to say !
15. Both boys dead! But that's out of nature. We all.
Have been patriots; yet each house must always keep one: 'Twere imbecile hewing out roads to a wall. And, when Italy's made, for what end is it done
If we have not a son ?
16. Ah, ah, ah! when Gaëta's taken, what then ?
When the fair wicked queen sits no more at her sport Of the fire-balls of death crashing souls out of men; When your guns of Cavalli with final retort
Have cut the game short ;
17. When Venice and Rome keep their new jubilee ;
When your flag takes all heaven for its white, green, and red; When you have your country from mountain to sea; When King Victor has Italy's crown on his head,
(And I have my dead,) –
What then ? Do not mock me. Ah! ring your bells low.
And burn your lights faintly. My country is there,
To disfranchise despair.
19. Forgive me! Some women bear children in strength,
And bite back the cry of their pain in self-scorn ; But the birth-pangs of nations will wring us at length Into wail such as this, and we sit on forlorn
When the man-child is born.
Dead ! one of them shot by the sea in the west,
And one of them shot in the east by the sea,Both, both my boys! If, in keeping the feast, You want a great song for your Italy free,
Let none look at me!
And I- I was a good child, on the whole, -
So it was.
And various popular synopses of