Robert Browning (1812)
It was on this date, May 7, 1812, that the English poet Robert Browning was born in London. As he was born into a wealthy family and well educated, he was able to emancipate himself from Christian belief by the time he was 18, although he remained a Theist. “Who knows most,” said Browning, “doubts most.” And, 34 years later, in a poem called “Gold Hair,” he wrote,
The candid incline to surmise of late
that the Christian faith may be false, I find.”
His narrative poem “Christmas Eve” portrays divine truth as unreachable through denominational religion, making worship a personal choice; “Easter Day,” the second part of this 1850 poem, is a dialogue which argues that doubt is essential to faith. He speaks much of God, but Browning admits, “I am no Christian.”
Originally published May 2003 by Ronald Bruce Meyer.