Robert Browning was a deeply religious man who wrestled to obtain and keep his Christian faith. His conviction was that life in this world is so riddled with evil and sorrow that only a future life can make sense out of it. He viewed life as a training ground which God provided in His divine love and sovereign will. Given Browning's intensely romantic love affair with Elizabeth Barrett, it is characteristic that he should view love as life's animating force and the key to its meaning. To Browning, the most dreaded fate would be to live a "ghastly smooth life, dead at heart." This view of life is projected throughout his poetry. Included in this collection are "Johannes Agricola in Meditation", "The Pied Piper of Hamelin", "Youth and Art", "Beatrice Signorini", "Spring Song", and many others.
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