Verse > Anthologies > Higginson and Bigelow, eds. > American Sonnets
Higginson and Bigelow, comps.  American Sonnets.  1891.
Robert Browning
By Louise (Chandler) Moulton (1835–1908)
The Poet of Human Life

SILENCE and Night sequestered thee in vain!
  Oblivion’s threats thou proudly couldst defy.
  Thou art not dead—supreme souls do not die:
One small world’s range no longer could constrain
That strong-winged spirit of its freedom fain—        5
  New stars, new lives thy fearless quest would try:
  Our baffled vision may not soar so high—
We mourn as loss thine infinite, great gain.
Yet keen of sight, to whom men’s souls lay bare,
  Stripped clean of shams, unclothed of all disguise,        10
    Revealed to thee, as if at each soul’s birth
Thou hadst been nigh to stamp it foul or fair—
  Why shouldst thou seek new schools to make thee wise,
    Heir of heaven’s secrets even while on earth!

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