Robert Browning








5   STAND still, true poet that you are,
    I know you; let me try and draw you.
Some night you'll fail us.   When afar
    You rise, remember one man saw you,
Knew you, and named a star.



10   My star, God's glow-worm! Why extend
    That loving hand of His which leads you,
Yet locks you safe from end to end
    Of this dark world, unless He needs you –
Just saves your light to spend?



15   [194] His clenched Hand shall unclose at last
    I know, and let out all the beauty.
My poet holds the future fast,
    Accepts the coming ages' duty,
Their present for this past.



20   That day, the earth's feast-master's brow
    Shall clear, to God the chalice raising;
"Others give best at first, but Thou
    For ever set'st our table praising, –
Keep'st the good wine till now."



25   Meantime, I'll draw you as you stand,
    With few or none to watch and wonder.
I'll say a fisher (on the sand
    By Tyre the Old) with ocean-plunder,
A netful, brought to land.



30   [195] Who has not heard how Tyrian shells
    Enclosed the blue, that dye of dyes
Whereof one drop worked miracles,
    And coloured like Astarte's eyes
Raw silk the merchant sells?



35   And each bystander of them all
    Could criticize, and quote tradition
How depths of blue sublimed some pall,
    To get which, pricked a king's ambition;
Worth sceptre, crown and ball.



40   Yet there's the dye, – in that rough mesh,
    The sea has only just o'er-whispered!
Live whelks, each lip's-beard dripping fresh,
    As if they still the water's lisp heard
Through foam the rock-weeds thresh.



45   [196] Enough to furnish Solomon
    Such hangings for his cedar-house,
That when gold-robed he took the throne
    In that abyss of blue, the Spouse
Might swear his presence shone



50   Most like the centre-spike of gold
    Which burns deep in the blue-bell's womb,
What time, with ardours manifold,
    The bee goes singing to her groom,
Drunken and overbold.



50   Mere conchs! not fit for warp or woof!
    Till art comes, – comes to pound and squeeze
And clarify, refine to proof
    The liquor filtered by degrees,
While the world stands aloof.



60   [197] And there's the extract, flasked and fine,
    And priced and saleable at last!
And Hobbs, Nobbs, Stokes and Nokes combine
    To paint the future from the past,
Put blue into their line.



65   Hobbs hints blue, straight he turtle eats.
    Nobbs prints blue, claret crowns his cup.
Nokes outdares Stokes in azure feats,
    Both gorge.   Who fished the murex up?
What porridge had John Keats?





Erstdruck und Druckvorlage

Robert Browning: Men and Women.
In two Volumes.
Vol. II. London: Chapman and Hall 1855, S. 193-197.




Kommentierte und kritische Ausgaben





Brandmeyer, Rudolf: Poetologische Lyrik. In: Handbuch Lyrik. Theorie, Analyse, Geschichte. Hrsg. von Dieter Lamping. 2. Aufl. Stuttgart 2016, S. 164-168.

Bristow, Joseph (Hrsg.): The Victorian Poet. Poetics and Persona. London u.a. 1987.

Bristow, Joseph: Reforming Victorian poetry: poetics after 1832. In: The Cambridge Companion to Victorian Poetry. Hrsg. von Joseph Bristow. Cambridge u.a. 2000, S. 1-24.

Dawson, Clara: Victorian Poetry and the Culture of Evaluation. Oxford 2020.

Gymnich, Marion / Müller-Zettelmann, Eva: Metalyrik: Gattungsspezifische Besonderheiten, Formenspektrum und zentrale Funktionen. In: Metaisierung in Literatur und anderen Medien. Theoretische Grundlagen – Historische Perspektiven – Metagattungen – Funktionen. Hrsg. von Janine Hauthal u.a. Berlin u.a. 2007 (= spectrum Literaturwissenschaft / spectrum Literature, 12), S. 65-91.

Helsinger, Elizabeth: Conversing in Verse. Conversation in Nineteenth-Century English Poetry. Cambridge u.a. 2022.

Litzinger, Boyd u.a. (Hrsg.): Robert Browning. The Critical Heritage. London u.a. 1995.

Taylor, Mark: The Forgetting of Idealism: T. S. Eliot, Robert Browning, and the Origins of Literary Criticism. In: English Literary History 90.2 (2023), S. 491-518.

Wootton, Sarah: Consuming Keats. Nineteenth-Century Representations in Art and Literature. Basingstoke u.a. 2006.



Lyriktheorie » R. Brandmeyer