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Browning, Robert - Reverie - Head praises, but heart refrains



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

Robert Browning  - from Reverie

Head praises, but heart refrains
From loving's acknowledgement
Whole losses outweigh half-gains
Earth's good is with evil blent
Good struggles but evil reigns

Yet since Earth's good proved good -
Worth loving – I understood
How evil – did mind descry
Power's object to end pursued -

Were haply as cloud across
Good's orb, no orb itself:
Mere mind – were it found at loss
Did it play the tricksy elf
And from life's gold purge the dross?

Power is known infinite:
Good struggles to be – at best
Seems – scanned by the human sight,
Tried by the senses' test -
Good palpably:  but with right

Therefore to mind's award
Of loving, as power claims praise?
Power – which finds naught too hard
Fulfilling itself all ways
Unchecked, unchanged: while barred,
Baffled, what good began
Ends evil on every side,
To Power submissive man
Breathes 'E'en as Thou art, abide!'

The source of the experience

Browning, Robert

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