Monday, April 3, 2017


                Robert Browning (1812 – 1889), was a renowned English poet and play-wright, one of the foremost Victorian poets known for his great works such as ‘The Pied Piper of Hamelin’. Elizabeth Barret (1806 – 1861), daughter of Edward Moulton Barrett was one of the most prominent English poets of the Victorian era, popular in Britain and the United States during her lifetime.
                She started writing poems at the young age of six. At the age of fifteen she became sick with immobility and intense pain in her head and spine following a riding accident and later developed severe lung problems, possibly due to tuberculosis. She was administered pain-killers derived from opium such as morphine which intensified her illness. She was mostly bedridden. Still she wrote excellent poems. She was the eldest of twelve children. Her father had forbidden his children to marry. Impressed by the quality of her poetry and out of sympathy for her disability, Robert Browning loved her intensely. They used to correspond regularly through letters. As her father would not approve their marriage, they married secretly in 1846 and migrated to Italy. Her father was angry at her and refused to communicate with her forever. He rejected her only son and cut her from his will. But she used to write to her father frequently, begging his pardon. But he refused to open or read her letters.
                On the day of their 11th wedding anniversary, she received a packet from her father. Hoping that her father had finally forgiven her and sent her a loving gift, she gladly opened the packet. She was shocked to find in that packet all the letters she had sent him during the last ten years, begging his forgiveness, returned, still unopened. Robert Browning read those letters and remarked painfully, “Had he opened and read at least one of these loving letters, he would definitely have forgiven us and loved us.” Elizabeth Barrett died in Florence, in her husband's arms.
                Jesus taught His disciples to pray, “Forgive us the wrongs we have done, as we forgive the wrongs that others have done to us.” When God forgives us, He casts our sins into the sea of everlasting forgetfulness. Billy Graham said that many of the patients in hospitals would be healed if they were ready to forgive and forget the errors of others. Alexander Pope, in his work, ‘An Essay on Criticism’, wrote: “To err is human; to forgive divine.”
© By: Prof. Dr. Babu Philip, Former Professor, Cochin University of Science & Technology, Fine Arts Avenue, Kochi-682016, Kerala, India, Prof. Mrs. Rajamma Babu, Former Professor, St. Dominic's College, Kanjirappally, Leo. S. John and Neil John, Maniparambil, Alfeen Public School, Kanjirappally, Kerala, India. 
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