The Elizabeth Barrett Browning Teen Club

I had another vision of Lara. We are the same age, sixteen. We have founded The Elizabeth Barrett Browning Poetry Club somewhere in some city. It doesn’t matter, because we are having a melancholic love affair that involves poetry, especially the poems of Elizabeth. Our friends think we are morose, and our parents wonder if we are suicidal. We have no social life. We pick rainy days to meet – somewhere!


“It’s Lara.”

“Do you want to meet at the gazebo at Swan Lake, or, the old tire factory near the rusty boiler?”

“I like the boiler room when there’s thunder and lightening.”

“Shall I bring my accordion?”


When I was fourteen I lifted part of a Browning poem I can not find. I had gotten a book of her poems out of the library and carried it around school. I had this, walk. I pegged my pants. Salvador Dali was still my favorite artist.



Jon Presco


I am pain

Pass me by

Sweep me from your stoop

like persistent dust

and hope the wind will carry me


like the wind

I will return

and lay patiently at your door

until your tears  betray you

undo the latch

and let me in

noun: melancholy
  1. 1.
    a feeling of pensive sadness, typically with no obvious cause.
    “an air of melancholy surrounded him”
    synonyms: sadness, sorrow, unhappiness, woe, desolation, melancholia, dejection, depression, despondency, cafard, gloom, gloominess, misery;

    informalthe dumps, the blues
    “a feeling of melancholy”

The Prisoner

by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

I count the dismal time by months and years,
Since last l felt the green sward under foot,
And the great breath of all things summer-mute
Met mine upon my lips. Now earth appears
As strange to me as dreams of distant spheres,
Or thoughts of Heaven we weep at. Nature’s lute
Sounds on behind this door so closely shut,
A strange, wild music to the prisoner’s ears.
Dilated by the distance, till the brain
Grows dim with fancies which it feels too fine;
While ever, with a visionary pain,
Past the precluded senses, sweep and shine
Streams, forests, glades, — and many a golden train
Of sunlit hills, transfigured to Divine.

Go from me. Yet I feel that I shall stand
Henceforward in thy shadow. Nevermore
Alone upon the threshold of my door
Of individual life, I shall command
The uses of my soul, nor lift my hand
Serenely in the sunshine as before,
Without the sense of that which I forebore—
Thy touch upon the palm. The widest land
Doom takes to part us, leaves thy heart in mine
With pulses that beat double. What I do
And what I dream include thee, as the wine
Must taste of its own grapes. And when I sue
God for myself, He hears that name of thine,
And sees within my eyes the tears of two.”

A Thought For A Lonely Death-Bed by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
IF God compel thee to this destiny,
To die alone, with none beside thy bed
To ruffle round with sobs thy last word said
And mark with tears the pulses ebb from thee,–
Pray then alone, ‘ O Christ, come tenderly !
By thy forsaken Sonship in the red
Drear wine-press,–by the wilderness out-spread,–
And the lone garden where thine agony
Fell bloody from thy brow,–by all of those
Permitted desolations, comfort mine !
No earthly friend being near me, interpose
No deathly angel ‘twixt my face aud thine,
But stoop Thyself to gather my life’s rose,
And smile away my mortal to Divine !

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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