Treasure Island

Robert Browning

(1812-1889 / London / England)

Man I Am and Man Would Be, Love


Man I am and man would be, Love--merest man and nothing more.
Bid me seem no other! Eagles boast of pinions--let them soar!
I may put forth angel's plumage, once unmanned, but not before.

Now on earth to stand suffices,--nay, if kneeling serves, to kneel:
Here you front me, here I find the all of heaven that earth can feel:
Sense looks straight,--not over,under,--perfect sees beyond appeal.

Good you are and wise, full circle: what to me were more outside?
Wiser wisdom, better goodness? Ah, such want the angel's wide
Sense to take and hold and keep them! Mine at least has never tried.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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