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Poetry Analysis: The Last Ride Together

Robert Browning's poem, "The Last Ride Together, " is one of the greatest love poems ever written.  Browning's choice of words in this poem depict a sincere, honest, and deep love; a love that must be truly experienced to be known.  This poem really puts feelings and emotions into words in ways that are rarely seen. The words flow together and tell one of the best love stories ever told. 

In the second stanza, the following words of Browning's, "My last thought was at least not vain: I and my mistress, side by side Shall be together, breathe and ride, So, one day more am I deified. Who knows but the world may end to-night?" clearly shows the depth of his love.  He truly treasures every day he has with the woman he loves and wants it to go on forever.  He wants them to be together for as many days of their lives as they possibly can.  He realizes that every day might be the last and knows how important it is to make the most of all of the time they have together.  He was thankful for every day that his special woman was by his side.

The fourth stanza of Browning's poem shows his own analysis of his life and the different stages he has been through.  The past was history, the past when he had merely hoped the love of his dreams would love him back.  He seemed to know how important it was to focus on the present because the length of the future was not known. 

"Fail I alone, in words and deeds? Why, all men strive and who succeeds? We rode; it seem'd my spirit flew, Saw other regions, cities new, As the world rush'd by on either side. I thought,-All labour, yet no less Bear up beneath their unsuccess. Look at the end of work, contrast The petty done, the undone vast, This present of theirs with the hopeful past! I hoped she would love me; here we ride."

In this stanza, Browning also explores the idea of success and what it means.  He compares both life and love as a journey, a journey with ups and downs like a very long ride.  He is thankful that he has a woman by his side, who means a great deal to him, to share this ride with. 

The following words in the seventh stanza, "Your brains beat into rhythm, you tell What we felt only; you express'd You hold things beautiful the best, And pace them in rhyme so, side by side," describe what it is like to have a partner in life, a true soul mate.  These words paint the best picture possible for those who have not yet experienced it themselves.

The final stanza includes the following words, "What if we still ride on, we two With life for ever old yet new, Changed not in kind but in degree , The instant made eternity,- And heaven just prove that I and she Ride, ride together, for ever ride?"  With these words, Browning indicates that getting older does not change a strong love, rather over time, it becomes stronger and intensifies.  This ride goes on forever even when mortal life is over, although it's very hard to imagine while living. 

The Last Ride Together indicates that life is a long journey that is best played out with a special love.  Seeing every day as your last can really put a new perspective on everyday experiences and life in general.  It's important to not take any time for granted and to cherish those you love every day.

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