The Unconquered Air, and Other Poems (1912)/Robert Browning
"Never say of me that I am dead!"
Great-hearted son of the Titan mother, Earth,
Fed at her breast,
He builded upward from the solid ground,
While listening ever for the heavenly sound
Of higher voices, to his soul addressed.
The elemental mother, lending might
With vital breath,
Made him, with her instinctive courage, brave;
And the immortals to his spirit gave
Their deeper knowledge and their scorn of death.
So evermore with energy and joy,
He followed Truth:
Still for the message and the vision sought,
Still to the temple of her worship brought
The imagination of unaging youth,
And in its largeness ever viewing life,
Perceived its goal
To be beyond the bounds of space or time.
He strove to picture it in powerful rhyme;
But what he painted ever—was the soul!
Ay, 't was the soul that moved, delighted him,
Absorbed his care,
From early days in English Camberwell
To that far hour when tolled for him a knell,
Mournful across the deep, from Venice the all fair.
Voiceless he sleeps, his giant task performed;
But in his stead,
Brave Caponsacchi, poignantly alive,
Pippa, beloved Pompilia, and Clive,
Forbid the world to think of him as dead!