Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. IV. The Higher Life
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume IV. The Higher Life.  1904.
VII. Death: Immortality: Heaven
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, imprisoned—
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 turned his back but marched breast forward,
  Never doubted clouds would break,
Never dreamed, 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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