Guest poem sent in by "Kamalika Chowdhury"
(Poem #1736) Meeting at Night
The gray sea and the long black land; And the yellow half-moon large and low; And the startled little waves that leap In fiery ringlets from their sleep, As I gain the cove with pushing prow, And quench its speed i' the slushy sand. Then a mile of warm sea-scented beach; Three fields to cross till a farm appears; A tap at the pane, the quick sharp scratch And blue spurt of a lighted match, And a voice less loud, thro' its joys and fears, Than the two hearts beating each to each!
Late last night I was dusting down my old volume of Browning, when on an impulse I decided to google on whether you have "Meeting at Night" on the archive. Picture my surprise when I realised that you'd almost run it, but not quite! (Refer Poem #814 - Parting at Morning.) Both poems were first published in Dramatic Romances and Lyrics, 1845, as "I Night, II Morning," and given the present titles in 1849. The richness of visual detail captured in these few lines is as grand as any story Browning told. The rhyme - abccba - is carried off effortlessly, unnoticed in the building rhythm of the narrative. I particularly love the momentum and anticipation of the final stanza. And there is something especially exciting about the cadence of the lovely lines "And the startled little waves that leap/ In fiery ringlets from their sleep". Kamalika