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Browning poet resolves to be

By these red London labyrinths
I find I have
the strangest human profession,
but they all are, in a way.
Like alchemists
I'll seek the philosopher's stone
in fugitive quicksilver,
make common words—
the sharper's marked cards, plebeian money—
render the magic of
when Thor was numen and noise,
thunder and prayer.
In today's dialect
I'll say eternal things;
try not to be unworthy
of Byron's great echo.
I'm dust but invulnerable.
Let a woman love me
I'll write her up in the tenth sphere of heaven;
let her not
my sorrow will be music,
a high river of it throughout time.
I'll live forgetting.
A face forgotten once seen,
Judas on
a mission to betray,
swamp-bound Caliban,
a soldier of fortune dying
fear- and faithless,
Polukrates frightened to see
the ring returned by destiny,
the friend who hates me.
Persia'll give me nightingales and Rome the sword.
Masks deaths and resurrections
will make and mar my fate
and sometime I'll be Robert Browning.