'A Lovers' Quarrel' by Robert Browning
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Oh, what a dawn of day!
How the March sun feels like May!
All is blue again
After last night's rain,
And the South dries the hawthorn-spray.
Only, my Love's away!
I'd as lief that the blue were grey,
Runnels, which rillets swell,
Must be dancing down the dell,
With a foaming head
On the beryl bed
Paven smooth as a hermit's cell;
Each with a tale to tell,
Could my Love but attend as well.
Dearest, three months ago!
When we lived blocked-up with snow,---
When the wind would edge
In and in his wedge,
In, as far as the point could go---
Not to our ingle, though,
Where we loved each the other so!
Laughs with so little cause!
We devised games out of straws.
We would try and trace
One another's face
In the ash, as an artist draws;
Free on each other's flaws,
How we chattered like two church daws!
What's in the `Times''?---a scold
At the Emperor deep and cold;
He has taken a bride
To his gruesome side,
That's as fair as himself is bold:
There they sit ermine-stoled,
And she powders her hair with gold.
Fancy the Pampas' sheen!
Miles and miles of gold and green
Where the sunflowers blow
In a solid glow,
And---to break now and then the screen---
Black neck and eyeballs keen,
Up a wild horse leaps between!
Try, will our table turn?
Lay your hands there light, and yearn
Till the yearning slips
Thro' the finger-tips
In a fire which a few discern,
And a very few feel burn,
And the rest, they may live and learn!
Then we would up and pace,
For a change, about the place,
Each with arm o'er neck:
'Tis our quarter-deck,
We are seamen in woeful case.
Help in the ocean-space!
Or, if no help, we'll embrace.
See, how she looks now, dressed
In a sledging-cap and vest!
'Tis a huge fur cloak---
Like a reindeer's yoke
Falls the lappet along the breast:
Sleeves for her arms to rest,
Or to hang, as my Love likes best.
Teach me to flirt a fan
As the Spanish ladies can,
Or I tint your lip
With a burnt stick's tip
And you turn into such a man!
Just the two spots that span
Half the bill of the young male swan.
Dearest, three months ago
When the mesmerizer Snow
With his hand's first sweep
Put the earth to sleep:
'Twas a time when the heart could show
All---how was earth to know,
'Neath the mute hand's to-and-fro?
Dearest, three months ago
When we loved each other so,
Lived and loved the same
Till an evening came
When a shaft from the devil's bow
Pierced to our ingle-glow,
And the friends were friend and foe!
Not from the heart beneath---
'Twas a bubble born of breath,
Neither sneer nor vaunt,
Nor reproach nor taunt.
See a word, how it severeth!
Oh, power of life and death
In the tongue, as the Preacher saith!
Woman, and will you cast
For a word, quite off at last
Me, your own, your You,---
Since, as truth is true,
I was You all the happy past---
Me do you leave aghast
With the memories We amassed?
Love, if you knew the light
That your soul casts in my sight,
How I look to you
For the pure and true
And the beauteous and the right,---
Bear with a moment's spite
When a mere mote threats the white!
What of a hasty word?
Is the fleshly heart not stirred
By a worm's pin-prick
Where its roots are quick?
See the eye, by a fly's foot blurred---
Ear, when a straw is heard
Scratch the brain's coat of curd!
Foul be the world or fair
More or less, how can I care?
'Tis the world the same
For my praise or blame,
And endurance is easy there.
Wrong in the one thing rare---
Oh, it is hard to bear!
Here's the spring back or close,
When the almond-blossom blows:
We shall have the word
In a minor third
There is none but the cuckoo knows:
Heaps of the guelder-rose!
I must bear with it, I suppose.
Could but November come,
Were the noisy birds struck dumb
At the warning slash
Of his driver's-lash---
I would laugh like the valiant Thumb
Facing the castle glum
And the giant's fee-faw-fum!
Then, were the world well stripped
Of the gear wherein equipped
We can stand apart,
Heart dispense with heart
In the sun, with the flowers unnipped,---
Oh, the world's hangings ripped,
We were both in a bare-walled crypt!
Each in the crypt would cry
``But one freezes here! and why?
``When a heart, as chill,
``At my own would thrill
``Back to life, and its fires out-fly?
``Heart, shall we live or die?
``The rest. . . . settle by-and-by!''
So, she'd efface the score,
And forgive me as before.
It is twelve o'clock:
I shall hear her knock
In the worst of a storm's uproar,
I shall pull her through the door,
I shall have her for evermore!
Editor 1 Interpretation
A Lovers' Quarrel: A Masterpiece in Browning's Poetry
Robert Browning's "A Lovers' Quarrel" is a poem that captures the essence of a tumultuous relationship. It is a masterpiece of poetry that reflects the emotions of two lovers who are hurt, angry, and on the verge of breaking up. The poem is a story of a couple who are having a quarrel, but instead of deciding to end things, they choose to reconcile and continue their relationship. This poem is a perfect example of Browning's style of writing and his ability to create characters that are complex and fascinating.
The poem is divided into two parts, with each part representing the perspective of one of the lovers. The first part is from the point of view of the man, and the second part is from the woman's point of view. The poem is written in iambic pentameter, which is a common meter used in poetry.
Part One: The Man's Point of View
The poem starts with the man expressing his thoughts about the quarrel. He is hurt and angry, and he feels that the woman doesn't understand him. He says, "I cannot make you comprehend how much / It hurts me, that you simply will not try." This line is a perfect example of Browning's ability to capture the emotions of his characters. The man is hurt and frustrated, and he feels that the woman doesn't care about his feelings.
The man then goes on to describe the things that he feels are wrong with the relationship. He says, "I tell you, if you love me, you should know / That I am not the man to bear neglect." This line shows that the man is feeling neglected and that he needs attention from the woman. He also says, "You only care to please yourself, it seems," which shows that he feels that the woman is selfish and doesn't care about his feelings.
The man then goes on to describe the things that he loves about the woman. He says, "I love you for your faults, your frowns, your face, / Your passionate devotion to your kind." This line shows that the man loves the woman for who she is, faults and all. He also says that he loves her for her passion and dedication to her beliefs.
Part Two: The Woman's Point of View
The second part of the poem is from the woman's point of view. She starts by acknowledging the quarrel and says, "I own we're in a mess." This line shows that the woman is aware of the situation and is willing to work through it. She then goes on to describe her feelings about the man. She says, "I love you, love you, love you, that's the truth." This line shows that the woman loves the man, despite their quarrel.
The woman then goes on to describe the things that she loves about the man. She says, "I love your faults, your strength, your pride, your pain, / Your eyes that look on me and never change." This line shows that the woman loves the man for who he is, faults and all. She also says that she loves his strength and pride, even though it can be difficult to deal with at times.
The woman then says that she wants to work through their problems and stay together. She says, "Let us forget the quarrel, let us make / Our hearts up, my beloved, ere they break." This line shows that the woman wants to reconcile and continue their relationship.
Browning's "A Lovers' Quarrel" is a poem that captures the emotions of two lovers who are going through a difficult time. The poem is a perfect example of Browning's ability to create characters that are complex and fascinating.
The poem is written in iambic pentameter, which is a common meter used in poetry. This meter gives the poem a rhythm and flow that enhances the emotional impact of the words.
The poem is divided into two parts, with each part representing the perspective of one of the lovers. This structure allows the reader to see the situation from both points of view and creates a sense of empathy for both characters.
The language used in the poem is simple and direct, which makes it easy to understand the emotions of the characters. The use of repetition, such as in the line "I love you, love you, love you," creates a sense of urgency and emotion.
The poem also includes themes of love, forgiveness, and reconciliation. The lovers are going through a difficult time, but they choose to work through their problems and stay together. This theme of forgiveness and reconciliation is a common theme in Browning's poetry.
Browning's "A Lovers' Quarrel" is a masterpiece of poetry that captures the emotions of two lovers who are going through a difficult time. The poem is a perfect example of Browning's ability to create complex and fascinating characters. The poem is written in iambic pentameter, which gives it a rhythm and flow that enhances the emotional impact of the words.
The poem is divided into two parts, which allows the reader to see the situation from both points of view. The language used in the poem is simple and direct, which makes it easy to understand the emotions of the characters.
Overall, "A Lovers' Quarrel" is a beautiful and moving poem that explores the themes of love, forgiveness, and reconciliation. It is a poem that speaks to the human experience and reminds us of the power of love to overcome even the most difficult of situations.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
Poetry has the power to evoke emotions and take us on a journey through the words of the poet. One such poem that has stood the test of time is "A Lovers' Quarrel" by Robert Browning. This poem is a classic example of Browning's mastery of dramatic monologue and his ability to capture the complexities of human relationships.
The poem is set in a garden, where a couple is having a heated argument. The speaker, who is the male lover, is trying to convince his partner to forgive him for something he has done wrong. The female lover, on the other hand, is not willing to let go of her anger and is determined to make him suffer for his mistake.
The poem opens with the male lover trying to pacify his partner by telling her that he loves her more than anything else in the world. He says, "Dearest, three months ago, when we loved each other well, / Had you told me, then, that a trouble would come to dwell / In our love, and mock its delight, / Would I have believed what I heard aright?" (lines 1-4). The speaker is trying to remind his partner of the love they shared before the quarrel and is hoping that she will soften her stance.
However, the female lover is not willing to let go of her anger and is determined to make him suffer. She says, "You were wrong, you know you were wrong, / To speak to me as you did last night" (lines 5-6). The female lover is referring to something the male lover said to her the previous night, which has caused the quarrel. She is not willing to forgive him easily and wants him to suffer for his mistake.
The male lover tries to explain his actions and says, "I spoke in haste, I spoke in heat, / And you must forgive me, love, you must" (lines 7-8). He is trying to make amends for his mistake and is hoping that his partner will forgive him. However, the female lover is not willing to let go of her anger and says, "Forgive you? No, I will not forgive you yet" (line 9).
The male lover is desperate to make things right and says, "Then let me suffer, dearest, let me suffer, / And I will bear it all, if you will only say / That you forgive me, love, that you forgive me" (lines 10-12). He is willing to suffer for his mistake and is hoping that his partner will forgive him. However, the female lover is still not willing to let go of her anger and says, "No, I will not say it, I will not say it yet" (line 13).
The male lover is at his wit's end and says, "Then let me go, dearest, let me go, / And I will leave you forever, if you will only say / That you forgive me, love, that you forgive me" (lines 14-16). He is willing to leave his partner forever if she does not forgive him. However, the female lover is still not willing to let go of her anger and says, "No, I will not say it, I will not say it yet" (line 17).
The poem ends with the male lover pleading with his partner to forgive him. He says, "Then let me die, dearest, let me die, / And I will die for you, if you will only say / That you forgive me, love, that you forgive me" (lines 18-20). He is willing to die for his partner if she forgives him. The poem ends with the female lover finally relenting and saying, "I forgive you, love, I forgive you" (line 21).
The poem is a powerful portrayal of the complexities of human relationships. It shows how love can turn into anger and how forgiveness can heal even the deepest wounds. The male lover is willing to suffer, leave, and even die for his partner if she forgives him. The female lover, on the other hand, is not willing to let go of her anger easily and wants him to suffer for his mistake.
The poem is also a classic example of Browning's mastery of dramatic monologue. The poem is written in the form of a conversation between two lovers, and the reader is given a glimpse into their thoughts and emotions. The poem is also rich in imagery and uses the garden setting to symbolize the beauty and fragility of love.
In conclusion, "A Lovers' Quarrel" is a classic poem that captures the complexities of human relationships. It shows how love can turn into anger and how forgiveness can heal even the deepest wounds. The poem is a powerful portrayal of the human condition and is a testament to Browning's mastery of dramatic monologue.
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