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Flush or Faunus by Elizabeth Barrett Browning | Poets.org

Flush or Faunus
by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

 

You see this dog. It was but yesterday

I mused, forgetful of his presence here,

Till thought on thought drew downward tear on tear;

When from the pillow, where wet-cheeked I lay,

A head as hairy as Faunus, thrust its way

Right sudden against my face,--two golden-clear

Large eyes astonished mine,--a drooping ear

Did flap me on either cheek, to dry the spray!

I started first, as some Arcadian

Amazed by goatly god in twilight grove:

But as my bearded vision closelier ran

My tears off, I knew Flush, and rose above

Surprise and sadness; thanking the true Pan,

Who, by low creatures, leads to heights of love.

 

Elizabeth Barrett Browning was born on March 6, 1806, at Coxhoe Hall in Durham, England. She was already prominent in the world of Victorian letters when she married fellow poet Robert Browning in 1846. Barrett Browning died in 1861.
About This Poem
Flush was Elizabeth Barrett Browning's beloved cocker spaniel. In 1933, Virginia Woolf published Flush: A Biography, a full-length book telling the story of Barrett Browning's life through Flush's eyes.

 

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