Parting at Morning

Robert Browning


Robert Browning

Robert Browning was an English poet born in 1812.

He is considered one of the preeminent Victorian poets of the period.

In ‘Parting at Morning’ Browning uses clear diction and syntax to speak about the experience of seeing the world anew after spending a night with a lover. The poet also uses techniques like parallelism in order to create rhythm in a poem that is without a metrical pattern. 

Browning engages with themes such as duty and responsibility as well as relationships and nature in ‘Parting at Morning’. It is a testament to his skill that there is such a depth of information to be gleaned and discussed from only four short lines of verse. 

Parting at Morning by Robert Browning


Summary of Parting at Morning 

Parting at Morning’ by Robert Browning is a short poem that describes in clear detail what the speaker experienced after leaving his lover in the morning.

The first two lines describe the landscape and the next two what’s in store for the speaker and the sun. The sun has a path of golden light set ou before it while the speaker wants to and needs to go back to the world of men. There is more for him to do in life than spend time with this lover and at this moment this appears to be something he’s glad about. 


Structure of Parting at Morning 

Parting at Morning’ by Robert Browning is a four-line poem that is contained within a single stanza of text. The lines follow a very simple rhyme scheme of ABBA. This poem can be categorized as an aubade, or a poem about lovers parting in the morning. Unlike the clear rhyme scheme, there is no distinct metrical pattern in ‘Parting at Morning’. 


Literary Devices in Parting at Morning 

In ‘Parting at Morning’ Browning makes use of several literary devices. These include but are not limited to anaphora, alliteration, and personification. The latter occurs when a poet imbues a non-human creature or object with human characteristics. In the second line, the poet describes how the sun was looking, as if it was capable of such an action, “over the mountain’s rim”. This is a way of accurately depicting how alive everything seemed in the moments. This is even more important when considered alongside the lack of importance placed on the landscape in the companion piece. 

Browning also makes use of anaphora, or the repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of multiple lines, usually in succession. This technique is often used to create emphasis. A list of phrases, items, or actions may be created through its implementation. This is very clearly used in the second, third, and fourth lines, all of which start with “And”. A reader can also find an example of parallelism, in the structure of the lines, in lines two and four. 


Analysis of Parting at Morning 

Lines 1-2 

Round the cape of a sudden came the sea, 

And the sun looked over the mountain’s rim: 

In the first two lines of ‘Parting at Morning,’ the speaker begins by describing in a few poignant words what the landscape looks like around him. This was something that previously he did not notice. When he was focused on his lover the world around him had faded into the background. Now, as he parts from her, he sees everything more clearly. The sea is there, as well the sun looking down “over the mountain’s rim”. 

A reader should take note of the use of alliteration in these two lines with “Round” and “rim” as well as “sudden,” “sea,” and “sun”. There is also an example of personification in the second line. 

Also important to note is the fact that this poem comes after another called ‘Meeting at Night,’ in fact, ‘Parting at Morning’ picks up where the other left off. 


Lines 3-4 

And straight was a path of gold for him, 

And the need of a world of men for me. 

In the third line of ‘Parting at Morning,’ the poet makes use of anaphora with the repetition of “And” at the beginning of three lines. In the third line the speaker about the sun as “he”. There was a “path of “gold for him” and the “need of a world of men” for the speaker. This conveys to the reader that the speaker is moving away from the wistful and passionate world he spent the night in. He is now entering back into one that satisfies him in a different way. He can’t live forever indulging himself. 

Emma Baldwin Poetry Expert
Emma graduated from East Carolina University with a BA in English, minor in Creative Writing, BFA in Fine Art, and BA in Art Histories. Literature is one of her greatest passions which she pursues through analyzing poetry on Poem Analysis.

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