Author's Diction~Vipin Behari Goyal: The Unspoken Agony of the Girl in The Last Ride Together by Robert Browning

Sunday, January 3, 2016

The Unspoken Agony of the Girl in The Last Ride Together by Robert Browning



The girls are mysterious, The boys are obsessive




No doubt, the readers are so much hooked by the thrill and passion of narrator that they become totally oblivious to the feelings of the girl. In the last stanza the lover too is taken aback by the total silence of his girl friend
“And yet-she has not spoke so long!
But her silence does not seem to bother him. For a moment he comes out of his engrossment by her silence, but that doesn’t stop him from further contemplating that heaven is nothing but life at its best.
In the first stanza lover demands two things from the girl when she declined his proposal. His first demand is only a trick to get her consent for his second demand. In a way he has coaxed and enticed her for his ulterior motive.

Robert Browning
Robert Browning
    “Take back the hope you gave,-I claim
     Only a memory of the same,
     And this beside ,if you will not blame
    Your leave for one more last ride with me.”    
The girl was dubious and apprehensive since she saw no point in the pleadings of her lover. If he wants to keep memories who can stop him? Why he wants my permission for that? Why he is insisting for one more ride? In their long relationship they had many rides together in all kinds of seasons and ambience. How does one more matters ? He had always been gentle in his approaches, does he want to cross the limits on his last ride together.
  “My mistress bent that brow of hers
   Those deep dark eyes where pride demurs
   When pity would be softening through
   Fixed me a breathing- while or two
   With life or death in the balance : right !
The boy looked at her as if his life depended on her answer. She saw that no harm could come from him. The girl could read that boy has hushed the conscience. The boy had no moral right to take the girl on ride when she had already declined his proposal.
“Thus leant she and lingered- joy and fear !
  Thus lay she a moment on my breast.”
After deciding to give him the advantage of her company for the last time she climbs beside him. In a natural gesture her head rests on his breast for a moment longer and she saw how his face was filled with ecstasy. She again hesitated in depriving him of a bliss which he may never have again in his life.

                                                                       “Then we began to ride.”
Who are they?(Hint-Bollywood Legend)

 And it was long, serene, peaceful ride. She does not know what he was thinking all the time. Both of them remained silent. She was expecting him to be gloomy, but he looked cheerful and gay.

 “ Had fate proposed bliss here should sublimate
    My being - Had I signed the bond—
    Still one must lead some life beyond, 
    Have a bliss to die with, dim-descried".
She was feeling uncomfortable due to his exuberance. Does he want to show that he would live more happily without her. He was full of pity when he requested for last ride together, but now his charms seems to have returned fortified and he was in jubilant mood due to his victory over her. This thought has made her uncomfortable and she wants to finish the ride as soon as possible. In a way she also cursed the weak moment when her heart melted and she gave consent for this ride.
His face was glowing with radiance. She had no heart to shun it.
After all, she also had reminiscences of precious moments of her life spent with him.
© Vipin Behari Goyal
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