„He gathers earth's whole good into his arms;
Standing, as man now, stately, strong and wise,
Marching to fortune, not surprised by her.“
— Robert Browning
Context: p>He gathers earth's whole good into his arms; Standing, as man now, stately, strong and wise, Marching to fortune, not surprised by her. One great aim, like a guiding-star, above— Which tasks strength, wisdom, stateliness, to lift His manhood to the height that takes the prize; A prize not near — lest overlooking earth He rashly spring to seize it — nor remote, So that he rest upon his path content: But day by day, while shimmering grows shine, And the faint circlet prophesies the orb, He sees so much as, just evolving these, The stateliness, the wisdom and the strength, To due completion, will suffice this life, And lead him at his grandest to the grave. After this star, out of a night he springs; A beggar's cradle for the throne of thrones He quits; so, mounting, feels each step he mounts, Nor, as from each to each exultingly He passes, overleaps one grade of joy. This, for his own good: — with the world, each gift Of God and man, — reality, tradition, Fancy and fact — so well environ him, That as a mystic panoply they serve — Of force, untenanted, to awe mankind, And work his purpose out with half the world, While he, their master, dexterously slipt From such encumbrance, is meantime employed With his own prowess on the other half. Thus shall he prosper, every day's success Adding, to what is he, a solid strength — An aery might to what encircles him, Till at the last, so life's routine lends help, That as the Emperor only breathes and moves, His shadow shall be watched, his step or stalk Become a comfort or a portent, how He trails his ermine take significance, — Till even his power shall cease to be most power, And men shall dread his weakness more, nor dare Peril their earth its bravest, first and best, Its typified invincibility.Thus shall he go on, greatening, till he ends— The man of men, the spirit of all flesh, The fiery centre of an earthly world!</p Valence of Prince Berthold, in Act IV.