Rabbi ben Ezra
Rabbi ben Ezra is a poem by Robert Browning about Abraham ibn Ezra (1092-1167), one of the great poets, mathematicians and scholars of the 12th century. He wrote on grammar, astronomy, the astrolabe, etc.
The poem begins:
- Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be...
It is not a biography of Abraham ibn Ezra; like all of Browning's historical poems, it is a free interpretation of the idea that ibn Ezra's life and work suggests to Browning, theistic paradox, that good might lie in the inevitability of its absence:
- For thence,—a paradox
Which comforts while it mocks,—
Shall life succeed in that it seems to fail:
What I aspired to be,
And was not, comforts me:
brute I might have been, but would not sink i' the scale.
The poem was published in Browning's Dramatis Personae in 1864.
- Pebble in the Sky (SF novel by Isaac Asimov that mentions the poem)
- The Anglo-Chinese School in Singapore adopted their school motto, "The Best Is Yet To Be", from the second line of this poem.
- Grow Old With Me, a song by John Lennon, based in part on Browning's poem.
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