The grey sea and the long black land;
And the yellow half-moon large and low;
And the startled little waves that leap
In fiery ringlets from their sleep,
As I gain the cove with pushing prow,
And quench its speed i’ the slushy sand.
Then a mile of warm sea-scented beach;
Three fields to cross till a farm appears;
A tap at the pane, the quick sharp scratch
And blue spurt of a lighted match,
And a voice less loud, thro’ its joys and fears,
Than the two hearts beating each to each!
Short Poem Analysis
"Meeting at Night" by Robert Browning is a romantic and vivid poem that captures the essence of a clandestine rendezvous. Through rich and sensory imagery, Browning narrates the journey of a lover traveling by sea and land to reach his beloved under the cover of night.
The poem begins with the speaker's description of the sea journey, using powerful and sensual language to convey the waves' sounds and the imagery of the moonlit sea. The first part of the poem sets a dreamy and atmospheric tone, creating anticipation for the upcoming meeting.
Browning then shifts to the second part of the poem, where the speaker arrives on land and moves toward the meeting point. The vivid description of the landscape, with its references to natural elements like the "gray sea's fringe," adds to the sensory experience and sets the stage for the romantic encounter.
The poem is characterized by its attention to detail and the use of sensual and tactile imagery. The depiction of the landscape and the physical sensations of the journey contribute to the overall romantic atmosphere, immersing the reader in the experience.
The meeting itself is not explicitly described, leaving it to the reader's imagination. Browning chooses to focus on the journey and the anticipation, allowing the romantic tension to build throughout the poem.
"Meeting at Night" captures the essence of a romantic tryst, celebrating the excitement and anticipation of lovers coming together. Browning's skillful use of imagery and sensory language creates a vivid and immersive experience for the reader, making the poem a timeless exploration of love and the journey to reunite with a beloved.