Robert Browning
London / England
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Evelyn Hope

Rating: 3.0

Beautiful Evelyn Hope is dead!
Sit and watch by her side an hour.
That is her book-shelf, this her bed;
She plucked that piece of geranium-flower,
Beginning to die too, in the glass;
Little has yet been changed, I think:
The shutters are shut, no light may pass
Save two long rays thro' the hinge's chink.


Sixteen years old, when she died!
Perhaps she had scarcely heard my name;
It was not her time to love; beside,
Her life had many a hope and aim,
Duties enough and little cares,
And now was quiet, now astir,
Till God's hand beckoned unawares,---
And the sweet white brow is all of her.


Is it too late then, Evelyn Hope?
What, your soul was pure and true,
The good stars met in your horoscope,
Made you of spirit, fire and dew---
And, just because I was thrice as old
And our paths in the world diverged so wide,
Each was nought to each, must I be told?
We were fellow mortals, nought beside?


No, indeed! for God above
Is great to grant, as mighty to make,
And creates the love to reward the love:
I claim you still, for my own love's sake!
Delayed it may be for more lives yet,
Through worlds I shall traverse, not a few:
Much is to learn, much to forget
Ere the time be come for taking you.


But the time will come,---at last it will,
When, Evelyn Hope, what meant (I shall say)
In the lower earth, in the years long still,
That body and soul so pure and gay?
Why your hair was amber, I shall divine,
And your mouth of your own geranium's red---
And what you would do with me, in fine,
In the new life come in the old one's stead.


I have lived (I shall say) so much since then,
Given up myself so many times,
Gained me the gains of various men,
Ransacked the ages, spoiled the climes;
Yet one thing, one, in my soul's full scope,
Either I missed or itself missed me:
And I want and find you, Evelyn Hope!
What is the issue? let us see!


I loved you, Evelyn, all the while.
My heart seemed full as it could hold?
There was place and to spare for the frank young smile,
And the red young mouth, and the hair's young gold.
So, hush,---I will give you this leaf to keep:
See, I shut it inside the sweet cold hand!
There, that is our secret: go to sleep!
You will wake, and remember, and understand.
SHARON WAYNE 10 October 2020
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0 0 Reply
Disturbed individual 10 September 2020
This poem is so creepy an old guy stalking a young girl who doesn't even know her. And he sings by her corpse. Men are trash indeed
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Mahtab Bangalee 01 May 2020
Given up myself so many times, Gained me the gains of various men, Ransacked the ages, spoiled the climes; ....superb expression; great poetic writings
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Ethan 22 March 2019
Summary - https:litaide.blogspot.com201903evelyn-hope-by-robert-browning-stanza.html
2 0 Reply
Sylvaonyema Uba 14 February 2017
That body and soul so pure and gay? Well communicated and expressed. Sylva
4 1 Reply
Michael Morgan 11 January 2016
Trust an American to find creepiness in a pure sentiment.
7 4 Reply
Susan Williams 11 January 2016
I'm thinking that Evelyn Hope is a metaphor for Hope or Youth while the narrator is Reality or Old Age. Most of it can be read that way. Otherwise, it sure looks like an old man stalking a young girl and then it's all creepy and this Polly-Anna is going to read it her way or no way. There's enough creepy in the world w/o curling up in an arm chair reading it.
31 1 Reply
Kim Barney 11 January 2016
If Hope is dead, We've much to dread! Sorry. I must agree with Elizabeth Fry. A fifty-plus year-old man expressing his love for a dead sixteen-year-old girl does border on the creepy.
6 1 Reply
Ramesh T A 11 January 2016
A great and frank tribute to his lady love on her death bed by Robert Browning noted for master pieces when the question comes about love in life! Wonderful poem by the expert love poet, Robert Browning, who is one of my most favourite poet of the romantic period I could not forget ever!
3 0 Reply
Edward Kofi Louis 11 January 2016
Death of a teenager. However, death is part of us. Thanks for sharing.
3 1 Reply

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