12 August, Brownings XXIV: On every separate plume a brightness

Elizabeth again, soaring above her virtual imprisonment and invalidity. May you, dear reader, find your life spreading its wings into brightness this summer!

And, for happiness—why, my only idea of happiness, as far as my personal enjoyment is concerned, (but I have been straitened in some respects and in comparison with the majority of livers!) lies deep in poetry and its associations. And then, the escape from pangs of heart and bodily weakness—when you throw off yourself—what you feel to be yourself—into another atmosphere and into other relations where your life may spread its wings out new, and gather on every separate plume a brightness from the sun of the sun!

Is it possible that imaginative writers should be so fond of depreciating and lamenting over their own destiny? Possible, certainly—but reasonable, not at all—and grateful, less than anything!

The Letters of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Barrett, Vol. 1 (of 2) 1845-1846.

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