Verse > Anthologies > > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse
Arthur Quiller-Couch, comp.  The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse.  1922.
By Robert Browning (1812–1889)
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 loved you, whom you loved so,
            —Pity me?        5
Oh to love so, be so loved, 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,
            —Being—who?        10
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.        15
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!’        20

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