Perplexed Music

by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Experience, like a pale musician, holds
A dulcimer of patience in his hand:
Whence harmonies we cannot understand,
Of God's will in His worlds, the strain unfolds
In sad, perplexed minors. Deathly colds
Fall on us while we hear and countermand
Our sanguine heart back from the fancy-land,
With nightingales in visionary wolds.
We murmur, -- Where is any certain tune
Or measured music, in such notes as these?
But angels, leaning from the golden seat,
Are not so minded: their fine ear hath won
The issue of completed cadences;
And, smiling down the stars, they whisper -- Sweet.


The Poems Of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Volume 1
Copyright 1853
C. S. Francis & Co., 262 Broadway, New York
Crosby & Nichols, Boston

Recommended Works

Adequacy - Elizabeth Barrett BrowningThe Seraph And Poet - Elizabeth Barrett BrowningOn A Portrait Of Wordsworth - Elizabeth Barrett BrowningNo slight caprice rules thee. -- Who sounds one note... - Anne WhitneyCheerfulness Taught By Reason - Elizabeth Barrett BrowningTo An Enthusiast - Thomas HoodSonnet To A Sonnet - Thomas HoodOn Seeing The Elgin Marbles - John KeatsWritten In The Cottage Where Burns Was Born - John KeatsTo Kosciusko - John KeatsWork And Contemplation - Elizabeth Barrett BrowningAlas! and yesternight I woke in terror, - Anne WhitneyNight - Anne WhitneyOn The Grasshopper And Cricket - John KeatsThe Passion Flower - Anne WhitneyI dreamed an angel, Angel twice, through death... - Anne WhitneyYet are there sunbeams, though the kingly sun... - Anne WhitneyTo Haydon - John KeatsI cry your mercy -- pity -- love -- ay, love ... - John KeatsTo J. H. Reynolds - John KeatsWritten On The Day That Mr. Leigh Hunt Left Prison - John KeatsRead me a lesson, Muse, and speak it loud - John KeatsOn Sitting Down To Read King Lear Once Again. - John KeatsThou seem'st to solve the eternal unity... - Anne WhitneyHow bravely Autumn paints upon the sky - Thomas HoodPast And Future - Elizabeth Barrett BrowningHow many bards gild the lapses of time! - John KeatsStoop low, dear Night, a little star-breeze wakes - Anne WhitneyFrom all these mounds, though day blows fresh and warm, - Anne WhitneyTo A Young Lady Who Sent Me A Laurel Crown. - John KeatsOh! how I love, on a fair summer's eve, ... - John KeatsThe Two Sayings - Elizabeth Barrett BrowningContinence - Anne WhitneyO high-born souls, such as God sends to mould... - Anne WhitneyTo A Friend Who Sent Me Some Roses - John KeatsThe Human Seasons - John KeatsAn Apprehension - Elizabeth Barrett BrowningOn A Dream - John KeatsGrief - Elizabeth Barrett BrowningThis pleasant tale is like a little copse: ... - John KeatsThe Same (Twas then we said...) - Anne WhitneyThe Prisoner - Elizabeth Barrett BrowningTears - Elizabeth Barrett BrowningKeen Fitful Gusts Are Whispering Here And There - John KeatsWhen I have fears that I may cease to be ... - John KeatsIt is not death, that sometime in a sigh... - Thomas HoodTo The Spirit - Anne WhitneyTo one who has been long in city pent, ... - John KeatsThe Same (Might we make quest ...) - Anne WhitneyDark rolling clouds in wild confusion driven... - Caroline Bowles SoutheyKeats's Last Sonnet - John KeatsA Thought For A Lonely Death-Bed - Elizabeth Barrett BrowningWithin my life another life runs deep, - Anne WhitneyOn A Picture Of Leander - John KeatsAnd for that thou art Beauty, and thy name... - Anne WhitneyThe Soul's Expression - Elizabeth Barrett BrowningConsolation - Elizabeth Barrett BrowningTo Homer - John KeatsThe day is gone, and all its sweets are gone! ... - John KeatsAddressed To The Same - John KeatsI know this spirit bridges unknown space... - Anne WhitneyOf better fortune coming, then, talk not... - Anne WhitneyTo _. (Had I a man's fair form, then might my sighs ...) - John KeatsC. L'E. - Anne WhitneyPatience Taught By Nature - Elizabeth Barrett BrowningTo ____. (My heart is sick with longing, though I feed) - Thomas HoodThree Flowers - Thomas Bailey AldrichThe world is with me, and its many cares... - Thomas HoodOn The Sea - John KeatsO solitude! if I must with thee dwell, - John KeatsOn Fame (Fame, like a wayward girl, will still be coy ...). - John KeatsTO G. A. W. - John KeatsTo My Brother George - John KeatsBy every sweet tradition of true hearts,... - Thomas HoodTo Fancy - Thomas HoodTo My Brother - John KeatsSo reed-like fragile, in the world's whirl nought... - Anne WhitneyIn the still hours, a stiller strength was born - Anne WhitneyDiscontent - Elizabeth Barrett BrowningO Mankind's God! most silent and most lowly - Anne WhitneyOn Leaving Some Friends At An Early Hour - John KeatsO night, a terrible dismay still lurks... - Anne WhitneyOn Leigh Hunt's Poem, The Story Of Rimini. - John KeatsIrreparableness - Elizabeth Barrett BrowningIf by dull rhymes our English must be chain'd ... - John KeatsO fair mistrust of earth's more solid shows... - Anne WhitneyTo The Same - Anne WhitneyThe Meaning Of The Look - Elizabeth Barrett BrowningThe Look - Elizabeth Barrett BrowningFuturity - Elizabeth Barrett BrowningTo The Nile - John KeatsDarkness surrounds me with its phantom hosts... - Anne WhitneyTo George Sand: A Desire - Elizabeth Barrett BrowningFalse Poets And True - Thomas HoodWhy did I laugh to-night? - John KeatsAddressed To Haydon - John KeatsExaggeration - Elizabeth Barrett BrowningTo Sleep - John KeatsWork (What are we set on earth for? ...) - Elizabeth Barrett BrowningLear - Thomas HoodSubstitution - Elizabeth Barrett BrowningBereavement - Elizabeth Barrett BrowningInsufficiency - Elizabeth Barrett BrowningAfter dark vapors have oppress'd our plains ... - John KeatsHappy is England! I could be content ... - John KeatsTo Ailsa Rock - John KeatsOn Fame (How fever'd is the man, who cannot look ...) - John KeatsComfort (Speak low to me, my Saviour, low and sweet ...) - Elizabeth Barrett BrowningTo _. (Time's sea hath been five years at its low ebb, ...) - John KeatsPerplexed Music - Elizabeth Barrett BrowningTo A Sleeping Child - Thomas HoodOn First Looking Into Chapman's Homer - John KeatsPain In Pleasure - Elizabeth Barrett BrowningOn Receiving A Gift - Thomas HoodTo George Sand: A Recognition - Elizabeth Barrett BrowningLargess from seven-fold heavens, I pray, descend... - Anne WhitneyTo The Ocean - Thomas HoodFor The Fourteenth Of February - Thomas HoodAnswer To A Sonnet Ending Thus: -- - John Keats