Do you think Robert Browning's 'The Last Ride Together' is a love poem or a philosophical poem? Give reasons in support of your answer.

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alison3000 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that Browning's 'The Last Ride Together' is not what you could traditionally describe as a love poem but rather it explores some of the philosophical ideas behind love. Browning is suggesting that rather than feeling sad for a love affair that has ended the narrator should 'bless/ Your name in pride and thankfulness'. The thought is that love is difficult; 'Why all men strive and who succeeds?' but this does not make the endeavor any less important. Browning often suggested that striving is all important and even failure to achieve the goal does not dimish the effort.  

In fact love seems to Browning to be more important than deeds carried out in a war for which a soldier can only expect that 'They scratch his name on the Abbey-stones'. Art also is seen as a kind of second-best and cannot hope to replace the real thing; again a theme often explored by the poet.