Famous Poets and Poems:  Home  |  Poets  |  Poem of the Month  |  Poet of the Month  |  Top 50 Poems  |  Famous Quotes  |  Famous Love Poems

Back to main page Search for:


FamousPoetsAndPoems.com / Poets / Robert Browning / Poems
Biography
Poems
Quotes
Books
Popular Poets
Langston Hughes

Shel Silverstein

Pablo Neruda

Maya Angelou

Edgar Allan Poe

Robert Frost

Emily Dickinson

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

E. E. Cummings

Walt Whitman

William Wordsworth

Allen Ginsberg

Sylvia Plath

Jack Prelutsky

William Butler Yeats

Thomas Hardy

Robert Hayden

Amy Lowell

Oscar Wilde

Theodore Roethke

All Poets  

See also:

Love Poems and Quotes

Poets by Nationality

African American Poets

Women Poets

Thematic Poems

Thematic Quotes

Contemporary Poets

Nobel Prize Poets

American Poets

English Poets

Robert Browning Poems
Back to Poems Page
The Laboratory by Robert Browning
ANCIEN REGIME

I

Now that I, tying thy glass mask tightly,
May gaze through these faint smokes curling whitely,
As thou pliest thy trade in this devil's-smithy—
Which is the poison to poison her, prithee?

II

He is with her; and they know that I know
Where they are, what they do: they believe my tears flow
While they laugh, laugh at me, at me fled to the drear
Empty church, to pray God in, for them!—I am here.

III

Grind away, moisten and mash up thy paste,
Pound at thy powder,—I am not in haste!
Better sit thus, and observe thy strange things,
Than go where men wait me and dance at the King's.

IV

That in the mortar—you call it a gum?
Ah, the brave tree whence such gold oozings come!
And yonder soft phial, the exquisite blue,
Sure to taste sweetly,—is that poison too?

V

Had I but all of them, thee and thy treasures,
What a wild crowd of invisible pleasures!
To carry pure death in an earring, a casket,
A signet, a fan-mount, a filigree-basket!

VI

Soon, at the King's, a mere lozenge to give,
And Pauline should have just thirty minutes to live!
But to light a pastille, and Elise, with her head,
And her breast, and her arms, and her hands, should drop dead!

VII

Quick—is it finished? The colour's too grim!
Why not soft like the phial's, enticing and dim?
Let it brighten her drink, let her turn it and stir,
And try it and taste, ere she fix and prefer!

VIII

What a drop! She's not little, no minion like me—
That's why she ensnared him: this never will free
The soul from those strong, great eyes,—say, "No!"
To that pulse's magnificent come-and-go.

IX

For only last night, as they whispered, I brought
My own eyes to bear on her so, that I thought
Could I keep them one-half minute fixed, she would fall,
Shrivelled; she fell not; yet this does it all!

X

Not that I bid you spare her the pain!
Let death be felt and the proof remain;
Brand, burn up, bite into its grace—
He is sure to remember her dying face!

XI

Is it done? Take my mask off! Nay, be not morose,
It kills her, and this prevents seeing it close:
The delicate droplet, my whole fortune's fee—
If it hurts her, beside, can it ever hurt me?

XII

Now, take all my jewels, gorge gold to your fill,
You may kiss me, old man, on my mouth if you will!
But brush this dust off me, lest horror it brings
Ere I know it—next moment I dance at the King's!
View Robert Browning:  Poems | Quotes | Biography | Books

Home   |   About Project   |   Privacy Policy   |   Copyright Notice   |   Links   |   Link to Us   |   Tell a Friend   |   Contact Us
Copyright © 2006 - 2010 Famous Poets And Poems . com. All Rights Reserved.
The Poems and Quotes on this site are the property of their respective authors. All information has been
reproduced here for educational and informational purposes.