- Armstrong Browning Library and Museum
- Research & Instruction
- University Libraries
Martin Entrance Foyer (left window)
Charles J. Connick Associates, Inc., Boston, Massachusetts
The theme of Robert Browning's "Rabbi Ben Ezra," symbolized in this double window, is well expressed in three sections--reflecting power, strife, and love.
The upper window symbolizes God as the "Potter," as described in Browning's poem, who is holding the Cup ("Perfect the cup as planned!"). At either side are the figures of Age and the Potter's wheel.
The lower medallion is shared by aspiring Youth ("Youth shows but half") and the seated figure of Age ("Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be.") He contemplates the Cup of Life. Lilies and roses surround these figures. Dominating the central medallion, above these two figures, is a knight in armor battling a monster amid storm and strife. This scene brings to mind another line from this powerful poem,
"Then, welcome each rebuff . . . ."
Excerpts from Robert Browning's "Rabbi Ben Ezra"
Poetry for Upper Section of Window
Look not thou down but up!
To uses of a cup,
The festal board, lamp's flash
and trumpet's peal,
The new wine's foaming flow,
The Master's lips aglow!
Thou, heaven's consummate cup, what needst
thou with earth's wheel?
So, take and use thy work:
Amend what flaws may lurk,
What strain o' the stuff, what warpings past the aim!
My times be in thy hand!
Perfect the cup as planned!
Let age approve of youth, and death
complete the same!
Poetry for Lower Section of Window
Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be,
The last of life, for which the first was made:
Our times are in his hand
Who saith, "A whole I planned,
Youth shows but half; trust God:
see all, nor be afraid!"
"Which rose make ours,
Which lily leave and then as best recall?"
Not that, admiring stars,
It yearned, "Nor Jove, Nor Mars;
Mine be some figured flame which
blends, transcends them all!"
Then, welcome each rebuff
That turns earth's smoothness rough,
Each sting that bids nor sit nor stand but go!
Be our joys three-parts pain!
Strive, and hold cheap the strain;
Learn, nor account the pang; dare, never
grudge the throe!
A whole I planned, Youth shows but half;
trust God: see all, nor be afraid!
The Gift of Erin Bain and