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Short poem

Robert Browning (1812-1889)

Among the Rocks

              1Oh, good gigantic smile o' the brown old earth,
              2    This autumn morning! How he sets his bones
              3To bask i' the sun, and thrusts out knees and feet
              4For the ripple to run over in its mirth;
              5    Listening the while, where on the heap of stones
              6The white breast of the sea-lark twitters sweet.

              7That is the doctrine, simple, ancient, true;
              8    Such is life's trial, as old earth smiles and knows.
              9If you loved only what were worth your love,
            10Love were clear gain, and wholly well for you:
            11    Make the low nature better by your throes!
            12Give earth yourself, go up for gain above!


1] This poem is one of a series entitled "James Lee's Wife," in "Dramatis Personae" (1864).

Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: Robert Browning, Dramatis Personae (London: Chapman and Hall, 1864). PR 4209 A1 1864
First publication date: 1864
RPO poem editor: W. J. Alexander, William Hall Clawson
RP edition: RP (1912), p. 339; RPO 1997.
Recent editing: 2:2001/12/12

Rhyme: abcabc

Other poems by Robert Browning