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Thursday, November 26, 2009
The year's at the spring;
The day's at the morn;
Morning's at seven;
The hill-side's dew-pearled;
The lark's on the wing;
The snail's on the thorn:
God's in his heaven
...All's right with the world!
Happy Thanksgiving to All!
But at night, brother Howlet, far over the woods,
Toll the world to thy chantry;
Sing to the bats’ sleek sisterhoods
Full complines with gallantry:
Then, owls and bats, cowls and tw*ts,
Monks and nuns, in a cloister’s moods,
Adjourn to the oak-stump pantry!
--Robert Browning, Pippa's Song
Pippa Passes was a dramatic piece, as much play as poetry, by Robert Browning published in 1841 as the first volume of his Bells and Pomegranates series.
Browning ends his poem with th[e foregoing] verse . . .
Brothers in Ebullience? (Eller)
Is not Pippa's song precisely the thanksgiving to which Kierkegaard exhorts? The truth of the matter is that Robert Browning, the Ebullient Englishman, was more aware of suffering, sorrow and sin--the dark side of life--than most critics give him credit for. However, he remained ebullient, for he was a man of faith. And the truth of the matter is that Søren Kierkegaard, the Despondent Dane whom many know only as the siren of somber shades, was much more ebullient than most critics give him credit for. He too was a man of faith. Miles apart? Browning and Kierkegaard stand arm in arm--or, rather, they march upward toward the light singing a hymn of thanksgiving, the Dane's basso profundo blending with the Englishman's lyric tenor. And the little soprano between them, whose hands they hold and whose song they sing, is: Pippa.
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FOR MORE ABOUT Søren Kierkegaard, see
First of all http://www.philosophers.co.uk/cafe/phil_sep2001.htm which goes into his life, his relationship with Hegelian thought, etc.
The context of the lines of Browning's poem cited, and a synopsis of the play in which they occur, see
More about Robert Browning's Pippa Passes, see
A Robert Browning Biography see
The first part of the play Pippa Passes: Part I: Morning; scroll way down to "The year's at the spring; The day's at the morn,"etc.