"But how carve way i’ the life that lies before,
If bent on groaning ever for the past?”— Robert Browning, Balaustion’s Adventure, Smith, Elder and co, 1871, p. 140.
The petty done, the undone vast,
This present of theirs with the hopeful
And yet—she has not spoke so long!
What if heaven be that, fair and strong
At life’s best, with our eyes upturn’d
Whither life’s flower is first discern’d,
We, fix’d so, ever should so abide?
What if we still ride on, we two
With life for ever old yet new,
Changed not in kind but in degree,
The instant made eternity— Robert Browning, The Last Ride Together
“[T]he flowers of the future-in-the-present are far brighter than this
southern gaudy melon-flower here and now. (…) [I]t is the pregnancy of the present that makes it meaningful. (…)
“Like the bird the poet of this lyric sings twice over so as to recapture the first moment, to bind his day together, to redeem the past from its pastness, to put futurity into the present.
" — Clyde de L. Ryals about Browning’s "Home-Thoughts, From Abroad" in Becoming Browning. The Poems and Plays of Robert Browning, 1833-1846, Ohio State University Press, 1983 p. 214