How blind the toil that burrows like the mole,
In winding graveyard pathways underground,
For Browning’s lineage! What if men have found
Poor footmen or rich merchants on the roll
Of his forbears? Did they beget his soul?
Nay, for he came of ancestry renowned
Through all the world, —the poets laurel-crowned
With wreaths from which the autumn takes no toll.
The blazons on his coat-of-arms are these:
The flaming sign of Shelley’s heart on fire,
The golden globe of Shakespeare’s human stage,
The staff and scrip of Chaucer’s pilgrimage,
The rose of Dante’s deep, divine desire,
The tragic mask of wise Euripides.