Verse > Anthologies > > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse
Arthur Quiller-Couch, comp.  The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse.  1922.
Life in a Love
By Robert Browning (1812–1889)
        ESCAPE me?
While I am I, and you are you,
  So long as the world contains us both,        5
  Me the loving and you the loth,
While the one eludes, must the other pursue.
My life is a fault at last, I fear:
  It seems too much like a fate, indeed!
  Though I do my best I shall scarce succeed.        10
But what if I fail of my purpose here?
It is but to keep the nerves at strain,
  To dry one’s eyes and laugh at a fall,
And baffled, get up and begin again,—
  So the chace takes up one’s life, that ’s all.        15
While, look but once from your farthest bound
  At me so deep in the dust and dark,
No sooner the old hope drops to ground
  Than a new one, straight to the self-same mark,
        I shape me—        20

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