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John Bartlett (1820–1905). Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. 1919.

Page 711

Robert Browning. (1812–1889) (continued)
    Progress, man’s distinctive mark alone,
Not God’s, and not the beasts’: God is, they are;
Man partly is, and wholly hopes to be.
          A Death in the Desert.
              The ultimate, angels’ law,
Indulging every instinct of the soul
There where law, life, joy, impulse are one thing!
          A Death in the Desert.
    How sad and bad and mad it was! 1 
But then, how it was sweet!
          Confessions. ix.
    So may a glory from defect arise.
          Deaf and Dumb.
    This could but have happened once,—
  And we missed it, lost it forever.
          Youth and Art. xvii.
    Fear death?—to feel the fog in my throat,
        The mist in my face.
    .    .    .    .    .    .    .
No! let me taste the whole of it, fare like my peers,
        The heroes of old;
Bear the brunt, in a minute pay glad life’s arrears
        Of pain, darkness, and cold.
    It’s wiser being good than bad;
  It’s safer being meek than fierce;
It’s fitter being sane than mad.
  My own hope is, a sun will pierce
The thickest cloud earth ever stretched;
  That after Last returns the First,
Though a wide compass round be fetched;
  That what began best can’t end worst,
  Nor what God blessed once prove accurst.
          Apparent Failure. vii.
Note 1.
A. C. Swinburne: A Ballad of François Villon;

  Villon, our sad bad glad mad brother’s name. [back]