A Woman's Last Word Poem by Robert Browning

A Woman's Last Word

Rating: 3.1


Let's contend no more, Love,
Strive nor weep:
All be as before, Love,
---Only sleep!


What so wild as words are?
I and thou
In debate, as birds are,
Hawk on bough!


See the creature stalking
While we speak!
Hush and hide the talking,
Cheek on cheek!


What so false as truth is,
False to thee?
Where the serpent's tooth is
Shun the tree---


Where the apple reddens
Never pry---
Lest we lose our Edens,
Eve and I.


Be a god and hold me
With a charm!
Be a man and fold me
With thine arm!


Teach me, only teach, Love
As I ought
I will speak thy speech, Love,
Think thy thought---


Meet, if thou require it,
Both demands,
Laying flesh and spirit
In thy hands.


That shall be to-morrow
Not to-night:
I must bury sorrow
Out of sight:


---Must a little weep, Love,
(Foolish me!)
And so fall asleep, Love,
Loved by thee.

Michael Pruchnicki 02 March 2010

Keep in mind that Robert Browning was a master of the dramatic monologue - a lyric poem which reveals a 'soul in action.' The character in 'A Woman's Last Word' is a woman who speaks to a silent listener. The conversation is one-sided and the reader implicitly understands the situation of the man and woman - which was published in 1855 as a collection of many of Browning's most popular poems under the title MEN AND WOMEN. If we read the poem in that light we can grasp that many of the sentiments expressed are not spoken but are unvocalized feelings and thoughts about their relationship. Let's not argue, she thinks, but let's calm down and sleep in each other's arms. The wild words we exchanged earlier bring to mind quarreling birds chattering at each other. See the monster stalking us as we argue and rant! Let us hush and suppress our anger as we cling to each other. How can we accuse unless we have been seduced by the evil one? Do not question our own little garden of delight, unless we anticipate the fate of the two thrust out from Eden! Assume god like qualities as you enfold me in your arms! Teach me about love and I will learn the proper language of love! My body and soul belong to you, darling! But for now I must suffer the pangs of unrequited love and weep bitter tears! Foolish soul that I am I must weep a little longer before rest comes!

24 5 Reply
Gertrude Morris 02 March 2010

'Where the apple reddens Never pry- Lest we lose our Edens, Eve and I.' The temptation of what we can't have has always intrigued us from the beginning of time. Though, while we might want it, when we have it, it either loses our interest, or there are other concequences. We are selfish creatures, and even in an act of love ponder that curiosity that either hurts us, or gets us killed, (figuratively and literally.)

14 7 Reply
Manonton Dalan 02 March 2012

comments make poem more interesting, while so many spend their lives just sleeping.

6 13 Reply
M.o Ryan 02 March 2012

amazing one, i disagree with (Besa Dede) there's no such thing as best of one's poems, every single one is the best in its own way, that's why every poem of ours can be completely different from the others

13 5 Reply
Besa Dede 02 March 2012

Another love poem, interestingly written, but not one of the best of Browning

6 11 Reply
Sylvia Frances Chan 28 September 2021

As MIchael Pruchnicki wrote: A Master of Dramatic Monologue. WOW! 5 Stars full

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Sylvia Frances Chan 28 September 2021

The words so touching, a true Master of the words!

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Sylvia Frances Chan 28 September 2021

THE Robert Browning, the great Poet of the past times, the famous spouse of EBB, great poem and so fantastic! 5 Stars full

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Rose Marie Juan-austin 28 September 2021

A wonderful poem of love so beautifully crafted and expressed.

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Mahtab Bangalee 03 February 2020

Be a god and hold me With a charm! Be a man and fold me With thine arm! really superb and fantastic writing skill greatly written straightly FAV list

1 1 Reply
Robert Browning

Robert Browning

London / England
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