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Meeting at Night -- Robert Browning

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!
-- Robert Browning
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".


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