MoboReader> Literature > Selections from the Poems and Plays of Robert Browning

   Chapter 14 No.14

Selections from the Poems and Plays of Robert Browning By Robert Browning Characters: 2137

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:04


And lo, with that leap of my spirit-heart, hand, harp, and voice,

Each lifting Saul's name out of sorrow, each bidding rejoice

Saul's fame in the light it was made for-as when, dare I say,100

The Lord's army, in rapture of service, strains through its array,

And upsoareth the cherubim-chariot-"Saul!" cried I, and stopped,

And waited the thing that should follow. Then Saul, who hung propped

By the tent's cross-support in the center, was struck by his name.

Have ye seen when Spring's arrowy summons goes right to the aim,105

And some mountain, the last to withstand her, that held (he alone,

While the vale laughed in freedom and flowers) on a broad bust of stone

A year's snow bound about for a breastplate-leaves grasp of the sheet?

Fold on fold all at once it crowds thunderously down to his feet,

And there fronts you, stark, black, but alive yet, your mountain of old,110

With his rents, the successive bequeathings of ages untold-

Yea, each harm got in fighting your battles, each furrow and scar

Of his head thrus

t 'twixt you and the tempest-all hail, there they are!

-Now again to be softened with verdure, again hold the nest

Of the dove, tempt the goat and its young to the green on his crest115

For their food in the ardors of summer. One long shudder thrilled

All the tent till the very air tingled, then sank and was stilled

At the King's self left standing before me, released and aware.

What was gone, what remained? All to traverse, 'twixt hope and despair;

Death was past, life not come: so he waited. Awhile his right hand120

Held the brow, held the eyes left too vacant forthwith to remand

To their place what new objects should enter: 'twas Saul as before.

I looked up and dared gaze at those eyes, nor was hurt any more

Than by slow pallid sunsets in autumn, ye watch from the shore,

At their sad level gaze o'er the ocean-a sun's slow decline125

Over hills which, resolved in stern silence, o'erlap and entwine

Base with base to knit strength more intensely: so, arm folded arm

O'er the chest whose slow heavings subsided.

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