Meeting at Night
The grey sea and the long black land;
And the yellow half-moon large and low;
And the startled little waves that leap
In fiery ringlets from their sleep,
As I gain the cove with pushing prow,
And quench its speed i' the slushy sand.
Then a mile of warm sea-scented beach;
Three fields to cross till a farm appears;
A tap at the pane, the quick sharp scratch
And blue spurt of a lighted match,
And a voice less loud, thro' its joys and fears,
Than the two hearts beating each to each!
Robert Browning, born in England in 1812, was not formally educated. He learned, instead, at home from his father’s 6,000-book library. For most of his writing career Browning was considered a failure among his peers, who unfavorably compared him to his wife, Elizabeth Barrett Browning. This standing changed late in his life when he developed and expanded on his use of dramatic monologue and lengthy poems. Today, he is most commonly known as one-half of a romantic poet duo. His most widely read work is Men and Women, a collection of dramatic monologues dedicated to his wife.