Robert Browning

(1812-1889 / London / England)

Evelyn Hope

Poem by Robert Browning


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.

Comments about Evelyn Hope by Robert Browning

  • Mahtab BangaleeMahtab Bangalee (5/1/2020 3:46:00 AM)

    Given up myself so many times,
    Gained me the gains of various men,
    Ransacked the ages, spoiled the climes; ....superb expression; great poetic writings(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Ethan (3/22/2019 1:58:00 AM)

    Summary - https:litaide.blogspot.com201903evelyn-hope-by-robert-browning-stanza.html(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • laryana (12/27/2018 9:44:00 AM)

    my classmate's step-mother makes $77 every hour on the internet. She has been unemployed for five months but last month her income was $21066 just working on the internet for a few hours. Read more on this site..

    1 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Sylvaonyema UbaSylvaonyema Uba (2/14/2017 7:14:00 PM)

    That body and soul so pure and gay?

    Well communicated and expressed.


    4 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Michael Morgan (1/11/2016 9:11:00 PM)

    Trust an American to find creepiness in a pure sentiment.(Report)Reply

    5 person liked.
    4 person did not like.
  • Susan WilliamsSusan Williams (1/11/2016 4:29:00 PM)

    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.(Report)Reply

    31 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Kim BarneyKim Barney (1/11/2016 7:50:00 AM)

    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.(Report)Reply

    6 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Ramesh T ARamesh T A (1/11/2016 7:05:00 AM)

    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!(Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Edward Kofi LouisEdward Kofi Louis (1/11/2016 6:40:00 AM)

    Death of a teenager. However, death is part of us. Thanks for sharing.(Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Ratnakar Mandlik (1/11/2016 5:15:00 AM)

    Superb poem. Manifestation of love for a young girl, not expressed till her death by the poet, linked with eternity and his readiness to wait for her through chain of incarnations, till eternity. Thanks for sharing.(Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Gangadharan Nair Pulingat (3/11/2015 4:44:00 AM)

    The great poem of the memories of a little girl that can't be easily faded away from the great mind of poet and this poem is so much loved.(Report)Reply

    4 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Elizabeth Fry (11/20/2011 9:25:00 PM)

    He was much older than her and drawn to her beauty, though she be dead. He recognizes her as a soul mate and thus notes that they will be, nay, must be together someday-some future age. If not for that interpretation this is just plain creepy.(Report)Reply

    14 person liked.
    5 person did not like.
  • Hira Ali (12/2/2008 11:35:00 PM)

    In this poem by Robert Browning purity of emotions is discussed at length.This poem is a dramatic lyric.Evelyn Hope is the name of a girl who is dead now and the lover is sobbing at her death and expressing his feelings of love for ' Beautiful Evelyne Hope'.
    I feel this is an abnormal love.The lover doesnot open his lips until the death of his beloved.I think he should have expresed his love instead of waiting a lot, expression of feelings is very important for a self.(Report)Reply

    Gangadharan Nair Pulingat(3/11/2015 4:45:00 AM)

    A good experience of love here the poet makes.Thank you for the best of comment made.

    11 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
Read all 13 comments »

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Read poems about / on: hope, hair, red, flower, beautiful, remember, smile, time, sleep, fire, god, love, light, change, star

Poem Submitted: Sunday, May 13, 2001

[Report Error]