by Robert Browning



Out of your whole life give but one moment! 

All of your life that has gone before, 

All to come after it, – so you ignore, 

So you make perfect the present, – condense, 

In a rapture of rage, for perfection’s endowment, 

Thought and feeling and soul and sense – 

Merged in a moment which gives me at last 

You around me for once, you beneath me, above me – 

Me – sure that despite of time future, time past, – 

This tick of our life-time’s one moment you love me! 

How long such suspension may linger? Ah, Sweet – 

The moment eternal – just that and no more – 

When ecstasy’s utmost we clutch at the core 

While cheeks burn, arms open, eyes shut and lips meet! 

Robert Browning (1812-1889)

Let us give ourselves over to joy…to voluptuousness, as if this were our last night among the living.
Alfred de Musset