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on definition of Soul (Browning)

Nov 10, 1997 02:47 AM
by jim meier

Three souls which make up one soul; first, to wit,
A soul of each and all the bodily parts,
Seated therein, which works, and is what Does,
And has the use of earth, and ends the man
Downward; but, tending upward for advice,
Grows into, and again is grown into
By the next soul, which seated in the brain,
Useth the first with its collected use,
And feeleth, thinketh, willeth, -- is what Knows;
Which, duly tending upward in its turn,
Grows into, and again is grown into
By the last soul, that uses both the first,
Subsisting whether they assist or no,
And constituting man's self, is what Is --
And leans upon the former, makes it play,
As that played off the first; and, tending up,
Holds, is upheld by, God, and ends the man
Upward in that dread point of intercourse,
Nor needs a place, for it returns to Him.
What Does, what Knows, what Is; three souls, one man.

                                             -- Robert Browning, A DEATH IN

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