Richard Monckton Milnes Houghton

Rating: 4.33
Rating: 4.33

Richard Monckton Milnes Houghton Poems

Back again, back again!
We are passing back again;
We are ceasing to be men!
Without the strife

Dream no more that grief and pain
Could such hearts as ours enchain,
Safe from loss and safe from gain,


Thou pleasant Island, whose rich garden--shores
Have had a long--lived fame of loveliness,
Recorded in the historic song, that framed

This was a fortress, firm and stout,
When there was battling round about,--
It has been deckt in gala--plight,

Thou didst not slight with vain and partial scorn
The inspirations of our nature's youth,
Knowing that Beauty, wheresoe'er 'tis born,

No parleying with themselves, no pausing thought
Of worse or better consequence, was there,
Their business was to do what Spartans ought,

A pleasant mean of joy and wonder fills
The trave'ller's mind, beside this secret stream,
That flows from lake to lake beneath the hills,

Where Delphi's consecrated pass
Boeotia's misty region faces,

Rises a tomb--like stony mass

When along the light ripple the far serenade
Has accosted the ear of each passionate maid,
She may open the window that looks on the stream,--

Well, I will tell you, kind adviser,
Why thus I ever roam
In distant lands, nor wish to guide
My footsteps to the fair hill--side

Delighted soul! that in thy new abode
Dwellest contentedly and knowest not
What men can mean who faint beneath the load

Not only through the golden haze
Of indistinct surprise,
With which the Ocean--bride displays
Her pomp to stranger eyes;--

Thine was the scheme, and worthy to be thine,
O Painter--Poet! with care and regu'lar toil,
To raise those marvels from the' entombing soil

Let him go down,--the gallant Sun!
His work is nobly done;
Well may He now absorb
Within his solid orb

I stood by the grave of one beloved,
On a chill and windless night,--
When not a blade of grass was moved,
In its rigid sheath of white.

Where Europe's varied shore is bent
Out to the utmost Occident,
There rose of old from sea to air,

I saw a weird procession glide along
The vestibule before the
Lion's gate;
A Man of godlike limb and warrior state,

Petrarch! I would that there might be
In this thy household sanctuary
No visible monument of thee:

A Heart the world of men had bound and sealed
With shameful stamp and miserable chain,
Here, mother Nature, is to Thee revealed,

A FAIR little girl sat under a tree
Sewing as long as her eyes could see;
Then smoothed her work and folded it right,
And said, "Dear work, good night, good night!"

Richard Monckton Milnes Houghton Biography

Richard Monckton Milnes, 1st Baron Houghton (19 June 1809 - 11 August 1885) was an English poet and politician. The son of Robert Pemberton Milnes, of Fryston Hall, Yorkshire, and the Hon. Henrietta Monckton, daughter of the fourth Lord Galway, he was born in London. He was educated privately, and entered Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1827. There he was drawn into a literary set, and became a member of the famous Apostles Club, which then included Alfred Lord Tennyson, Henry Hallam, Richard Chenevix Trench, Joseph Williams Blakesley, and others. After taking his degree, Milnes travelled abroad, spending some time at the University of Bonn. From there he went to Italy and Greece, and published in 1834 a volume of Memorials of a Tour in some Parts of Greece, describing his experiences. Milnes was a persistent suitor of Florence Nightingale (who finally refused to marry him), and one of her staunchest supporters along with the statesman Sidney Herbert. But in 1851 Milnes married the Hon. Annabel Crewe (d. 1874). He died at Vichy, and was buried at Fryston. His son, Robert, was created Earl of Crewe in 1895. His apparently almost unsurpassed collection of erotic literature, now in the British Library was known to few in his lifetime. He returned to London in 1837, and was elected to Parliament as member for Pontefract in the Conservative interest. His parliamentary career was marked by much strenuous activity. He interested himself particularly in the question of copyright and the conditions of reformatory schools. He left Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel's party over the Corn Law controversy, and was afterwards identified in politics with Palmerston, who made him a peer in 1863. Literary works His literary career was industrious and cultured, without being exceptionally distinguished. Church matters had always a claim upon him: he wrote a striking tract in 1841, which was praised by Newman; and took part in the discussion about "Essays and Reviews," defending the tractarian position in One Tract More (1841). He published two volumes of verse in 1838, Memorials of Residence upon the Continent and Poems of Many Years, Poetry for the People in 1840 and Palm Leaves in 1844. He also wrote a Life and Letters of Keats in 1848, the material for which was largely provided by the poet's friend, Charles Armitage Brown. Milnes' poetry is meditative and delicate; some of his ballads were among the most popular of their day. His chief distinctions were his keen sense of literary merit in others, and the judgment and magnanimity with which he fostered it. He was surrounded by the most brilliant men of his time, many of whom he had been the first to acclaim. His reputation rests largely on the part he played, as a man of influence in society and in moulding public opinion on literary matters, in connection with his large circle of talented friends. He secured a pension for Tennyson, helped to make Ralph Waldo Emerson known in Britain, and was one of the earliest champions of Algernon Charles Swinburne. He helped David Gray by writing a preface for The Luggie. He was, in the traditional sense, a patron of literature, who never abused the privileges of his position.)

The Best Poem Of Richard Monckton Milnes Houghton

Back Again, Back Again!

Back again, back again!
We are passing back again;
We are ceasing to be men!
Without the strife
Of waning life,
Or weary fears
Of loveless years,--
Without the darkened eye,
Without the paling brow,
Without a pulse of pain,
Out of our maturity,
We are passing now
Back again!
Clap your hands! clap your hands!
Now are broken all the bands
Of dull forms and phantom power,
That could prevent us doing
What joy would wish to do,--
For out of manhood's ruin,
We are growing, hour by hour,
Happy children too!--
From out the din
And storm of sin,
From out the fight
Of wrong and right,
Where the wrong
Is all too strong,
We glide our backward course along:
From out the chilly weather,
In which we laid, of old,
Our hearts so close together,
To keep them from the cold:--
From the folly of the wise,
From the petty war of gain,
From Pleasure's painèd votaries,
We are hasting back again,
Into other, healthier, lands,--
Clap your hands,--
Back again!
Faery fruit! faery fruit!
Can our charmèd hearts be mute,
When they feel at work within
Thine almighty medicine?
Joy through all our hearts is tingling,--
Joy with our life--blood is mingling,--
Before us rise
The dancing eyes,
That cannot speak
Of aught but light,
Unknowing gloom,--
The rounded cheek,
For ever bright
With cool, red, bloom;--
Our faded leaves are closing,
Our petals are reposing
Within their undeveloped stem;--
It is beautiful to see
Archetypes of infancy,
For we are growing like to them.
The wisdom of the common earth,
And reason's servile royalty,
Dust to dust,--the nothing--worth,--
Tread it down triumphantly,
To a just oblivion,--
Freely--springing hearts and pure,
Who are putting on
Consecrated vestiture
Of a new, old, communion!--

Our home! our home!
Our native air,--our brothers' song,
That we have lost so long!
We are worthy now to come,
Where dwelleth the Divine;--
Through the narrow door of Death
Pass;--we breathe eternal breath,--
Father! father! we are thine!

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