On the last day of 2016 two extracts from poems by Robert Browning (1812-1889)
The first comes with Christmas and New Year greetings that our world may be saturated by brightness; the second is a plea for the truth that lies within each of us and that the truth may enlighten us as we allow ourselves to be open to it…ray by ray…
Section from Christmas Eve 1849
When … have mercy, Lord, on us!
The whole face turned upon me full.
And I spread myself beneath it,
As when the bleacher spreads, to seethe it
In the cleansing sun, his wool,–
Steeps in the flood of noontide whiteness
Some denied, discoloured web–
So lay I, saturate with brightness.
TRUTH is within ourselves; it takes no rise
From outward things, whate’er you may believe.
There is an inmost centre in us all,
Where truth abides in fullness; and around,
Wall upon wall, the gross flesh hems it in,
This perfect, clear perception—which is truth.
A baffling and perverting carnal mesh
Binds it, and makes all error: and, to KNOW,
Rather consists in opening out a way
Whence the imprisoned splendour may escape,
Than in effecting entry for a light
Supposed to be without. Watch narrowly
The demonstration of a truth, its birth,
And you trace back the effluence to its spring
And source within us, where broods radiance vast,
To be elicited, ray by ray…