Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. V. Browning to Rupert Brooke
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Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. V. Browning to Rupert Brooke
 
May and Death
By Robert Browning (1812–1889)
 
I
I WISH that when you died last May,
  Charles, there had died along with you
Three parts of spring’s delightful things;
  Ay, and, for me, the fourth part too.
 
II
A foolish thought, and worse, perhaps!
        5
  There must be many a pair of friends
Who, arm in arm, deserve the warm
  Moon-births and the long evening-ends.
 
III
So, for their sake, be May still May!
  Let their new time, as mine of old,        10
Do all it did for me: I bid
  Sweet sights and songs throng manifold.
 
IV
Only, one little sight, one plant,
  Woods have in May, that starts up green
Save a sole streak which, so to speak,        15
  Is spring’s blood, spilt its leaves between,—
 
V
That, they might spare; a certain wood
  Might miss the plant; their loss were small:
But I,—whene’er the leaf grows there,
  Its drop comes from my heart, that ’s all.
(1857.)    
        20
 
 
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