Robert Browning

(1812-1889 / London / England)

A Serenade At The Villa - Poem by Robert Browning

I.

That was I, you heard last night,
When there rose no moon at all,
Nor, to pierce the strained and tight
Tent of heaven, a planet small:
Life was dead and so was light.

II.

Not a twinkle from the fly,
Not a glimmer from the worm;
When the crickets stopped their cry,
When the owls forbore a term,
You heard music; that was I.

III.

Earth turned in her sleep with pain,
Sultrily suspired for proof:
In at heaven and out again,
Lightning!---where it broke the roof,
Bloodlike, some few drops of rain.

IV.

What they could my words expressed,
O my love, my all, my one!
Singing helped the verses best,
And when singing's best was done,
To my lute I left the rest.

V.

So wore night; the East was gray,
White the broad-faced hemlock-flowers:
There would be another day;
Ere its first of heavy hours
Found me, I had passed away.

VI.

What became of all the hopes,
Words and song and lute as well?
Say, this struck you---``When life gropes
``Feebly for the path where fell
``Light last on the evening slopes,

VII.

``One friend in that path shall be,
``To secure my step from wrong;
``One to count night day for me,
``Patient through the watches long,
``Serving most with none to see.''

VIII.

Never say---as something bodes---
``So, the worst has yet a worse!
``When life halts 'neath double loads,
``Better the taskmaster's curse
``Than such music on the roads!

IX.

``When no moon succeeds the sun,
``Nor can pierce the midnight's tent
``Any star, the smallest one,
``While some drops, where lightning rent,
``Show the final storm begun---

X.

``When the fire-fly hides its spot,
``When the garden-voices fail
``In the darkness thick and hot,---
``Shall another voice avail,
``That shape be where these are not?

XI.

``Has some plague a longer lease,
``Proffering its help uncouth?
``Can't one even die in peace?
``As one shuts one's eyes on youth,
``Is that face the last one sees?''

XII.

Oh how dark your villa was,
Windows fast and obdurate!
How the garden grudged me grass
Where I stood---the iron gate
Ground its teeth to let me pass!


Comments about A Serenade At The Villa by Robert Browning

  • Khairul Ahsan (1/22/2019 11:57:00 PM)


    'When the crickets stopped their cry,
    When the owls forbore a term,
    You heard music; that was I' - So wonderful, sounds like music to my ears!
    'Life was dead and so was light' - Such a sublime expression!
    (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
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  • Mohammed Asim Nehal (1/22/2019 11:12:00 PM)


    Great poem with some exceptional stanzas.
    When the fire-fly hides its spot,
    ``When the garden-voices fail
    ``In the darkness thick and hot, - -
    ``Shall another voice avail,
    ``That shape be where these are not?
    (Report) Reply

  • (1/22/2019 11:06:00 PM)


    A beautifully conceived life song rich in rhythm, rhyme and meaning too. Enjoyed the melodious song. (Report) Reply

  • (1/22/2019 5:31:00 PM)


    Enjoyed the poetic softness through out this poem. (Report) Reply

  • (1/22/2019 12:40:00 PM)


    Every four lines have its own meaning. (Report) Reply

  • (1/22/2019 5:41:00 AM)


    up to I saw the paycheck saying $7438, I have faith...that...my cousin was like truley bringing home money parttime at there labtop.. there moms best frend had bean doing this for only about 8 months and a short time ago cleard the mortgage on there mini mansion and bourt a brand new Honda. this is where I went..........
    www.geosalary.com
    (Report) Reply

  • Mr Salte (1/22/2019 5:05:00 AM)


    i love every bit of his poems (Report) Reply

  • Anil Kumar Panda (1/22/2019 1:42:00 AM)


    Wonderful poetry. Enjoyed thoroughly. Thanks for posting. (Report) Reply

  • Bernard F. Asuncion (1/22/2019 1:07:00 AM)


    One of the best poems of Robert Browning............. (Report) Reply

  • Ramesh T A (1/22/2019 12:46:00 AM)


    A deserted Villa nicely depicted by Poet Robert Browning reveals his wonderful skill to weave a perfect verse to read and follow indeed! (Report) Reply

  • Prabir Gayen (1/22/2019 12:30:00 AM)


    Very deep rooted thought...an imaginative fullness..
    ...really serenade at villa....villa of mind and nature
    (Report) Reply

  • (11/12/2013 2:48:00 PM)


    wow stanza five was sad and unexpected..nicely written :) (Report) Reply

    Mohammed Asim Nehal (1/22/2019 11:11:00 PM)

    Yes thats true
    So wore night; the East was gray,
    White the broad-faced hemlock-flowers:
    There would be another day;
    Ere its first of heavy hours
    Found me, I had passed away.

Read all 13 comments »

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Read poems about / on: music, moon, heaven, star, night, rose, peace, rain, song, friend, fire, sleep, pain, dark, life, sun, light, hope, flower



Poem Submitted: Sunday, May 13, 2001



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