« PreviousContinue »
There let him bouse, an' deep carouse
Wi' bumpers flowing o'er,
-I'rov. 31. 6, 7.
Address to the Dcil
Lang syne, in Eden's bonnie yard,
The raptural hour,
In shady bow'r:
(Black be you fa!)
'Maist ruin'd a'.
'Mang better folk,
Your spiteful joke?
Wi' bitter claw,
The Cotter's Saturday Night They never sought in vain that sought the Lord aright!
The priest-like father reads the sacred page,
ROBERT BROWNING The complete study of the use of the Bible made by Robert Browning would fill a volume. Indeed, this has already been done. Miss Minnie Gresham Machen bas published a book of two hundred and ninety pages with the title "The Bible in Browning.” In this book an especial study is made of the scripture references in “The Ring and the Book," in which the author bas found over six hundred passages. Our purpose will be served by carrying out the foilowing suggestions : 1. Read "Saul” and note the parts which are based
directly on the narrative; and the parts which the
poet has introduced. 2. “A Death in the Desert." This is not nearly so fine a
poem as "Saul," but it is based upon the last days of one of the prominent New Testament characters. It should be studied in a similar manner to
No. 1. 3. "Rabbi Ben Ezra." This poem is not based upon
tbc Bible; nor does it contain many scriptural references. It is, however, most lofty in sentiment and filled with the spirit of the New Testament. Stanzas 26 and 32 coutain obvious al.
lusions to the Bible. 4. "Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister.” This is one of
Browning's obscure short poems. It is a master
piece of character portrayal. By means of monologue an ill-tempered monk gives us a picture of a brother monk of most admirable character, and incidentally of himself. Study the poem which follows and select the passages which come directly from the Bible or indirectly from some custom or theological viewpoint based upon the Bible.
Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister
Gris-r--there go, my heart's abhorrence!
your damneed flower pots, do!
(iod's blood, would not mine kill you! What? your myrtle bush wants trimming?
Oh, that rose has prior claims--
Ilell dry you up with its llames!
At the meal we sit together:
Saulve tibi! I must licar
Sort of season, time of year:
Dare we hope oak-galls, I doubt: What's the Latin name for "parsley."?
What's the Greek name for Swine's Snout?
Laid with care on our own shell!
And a goblet for ourself,
Rinsed like something sacrificial
Eire 'tis fit to touch our chapsMarked with L. for our initial!
(Ile-he! There his lily snaps !)
Saint, forsooth! While brown Dolores
Squats outside the Convent bank. With Sancbicha, telling stories,
Steeping tresses in the tank, Blue-black, lustrous, thick like horse-hairs,
--Can't I see his dead mye glow, Bright as 'twere a Barbary corsair's?
(That is, if he'd let it show!)
When he finishes resection,
Knife and fork he never lays Cross-wise, to my recollection,
As do I, in Jesu's praise. I the Trinity illustrate,
Drinking watered orange pulpIn three sips the Arian frustrate;
While he drains his at one gulp.
Oh, those melons! If he's able
We're to bave a feast! so nice!
All of us get cach a slice.
Not one fruit-sort can you spy?
-And I, too, at sich trouble
There's a great text in Galatians,
Once you trip on it, entails
One sure, is another fails:
Sure of heaven as sure can be,
Oir to hell, a Manichec?
Or, there's Satan-one might venture
Pledge one's soul to him, yet leave
As he'd miss till, past retrieve,
We're so proud of! Ily, Zv, Iline.
Ave, Virgo! Cr-r-r-you swine!
5. The study should identify various Scripture pas.
sages from Browning's short poems. In thie ('011 clusion of “By the Fireside" there are five lives which contain three Scripture references, woven together most artistically. Find the passage in