“Porphyria’s Lover” (1836)

Porphyria meets her lover in his cottage after escaping a storm and as the two embrace the porphyria reveals the social conventions she has overcome to be with her lover. Her lover, however, realizes that Porphyria will not be able to stave off societal pressures forever and strangles her. The speaker spends the evening with his lover’s dead body.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of “Porphyria’s Lover.”

“Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister” (1842)

The speaker, a disgruntled monk, lashes out against the immorality of a fellow monk, brother Lawrence, however as the poem progress it becomes clear that the speaker’s position is hypocritical and the faults that he locates in brother Lawrence are in fact his own.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of “Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister.”

“My Last Duchess” (1842)

The speaker, a duke who has recently been widowed, leads an emissary through his palace when he stops in front of a portrait of the last duchess and reminisces about the painting and his wife’s behavior which he found abhorrent and ultimately it is revealed his involvement in the Duchess’s death. After this reveal, the Duke continues showing the emissary around and points out another painting.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of “My Last Duchess.”

“The Bishop Orders His Tomb at Saint Praxed’s Church” (1845)

A Renaissance bishop lays out his plans for his tomb while he is lying on his deathbed. In the end, the bishop relents and acknowledges that because he will be dead, his tomb will ultimately be as crass as the tomb of his predecessor, Gandolf.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of “The Bishop Orders His Tomb at Saint Praxed’s Church.”

“Home-Thoughts, From Abroad” (1845)

The speaker longs for England while he is abroad and imagines the rural features of England during springtime.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of “Home-Thoughts, From Abroad.”

“Fra Lippo Lippi” (1855)

Feeling gregarious after a night of drinking the Florentine monk Fra Lippo Lippi talks to Medici watchmen and tells them about the difficulties he has encountered due to being a monk, especially as it regards his secret relationships with women. Also, an artist, Fra Lippo Lippi goes on to discuss art and its relation to religion.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of “Fra Lippo Lippi.”

“A Toccata of Galuppi’s” (1855)

The speaker imagines a scene in Venice where a ball is being held inspired by the music of Baldassare Galuppi.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of “A Toccata of Galuppi’s.”

“Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came” (1852)

The poem follows a young man on a quest through a nightmarish landscape as he attempts to reach The Dark Tower. When the young man finally reaches his goal, and the quest comes to an end so does his life.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of “Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came.”

“Memorabilia” (1855)

The poem recounts the speaker’s experience of awe when he encounters someone who met the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley and the person’s humorous response to the speaker’s reaction.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of “Memorabilia.”

“Andrea del Sarto” (1855)

The poem takes as its subject the Renaissance Florentine artist, Andrew del Sarto, who after running away from France, and taking the money that the King of France gave him, moves to Italy and buys a house for he and his wife, Lucrezia. The poem follows a conversation with his wife, how he compares himself to the other Renaissance painters of the time, the emphasis on painting for money as an impediment to becoming just as great as them, and Lucrezia constantly being summoned by her cousin, who is supposedly her lover, and Andrea’s desire to pain in Heaven.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of “Andrea del Sarto.”

“Two in the Campagna” (1855)

The speaker speaks to the fleeting nature of physical love as well as the infinitude of desire that lingers well beyond our hearts, and the impossibility of fully knowing one’s lover.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of “Two in the Campagna.”

“Caliban upon Setebos” (1864)

Inspired by Shakespeare’s play The Tempest, Caliban contemplates nature, evolution, and God, as well as justice. 

Read a full Summary & Analysis of “Caliban upon Setebos.”