When one writes a critical appreciation of a poem, one should offer an analysis of the poem's content and theme including investigations into how various elements of the poem—such as imagery, figurative language, rhyme, and so on—help contribute to the poem's overall meaning. One might also discuss how effective these elements are in terms of conveying that message or theme. The critical appreciation should also be structured like an argumentative essay, complete with: introduction and thesis; body paragraphs with topic sentences and evidence to support one's claims; and a conclusion that restates one's main ideas.
In this dramatic monologue, the speaker's mistress has just broken off their relationship (prior to the start of the poem). He asks her for one "last ride" together; she considers it and then agrees, and so he feels that "one day more [is he] deified." He feels like a god for one more day. The speaker is so thrilled by this final ride with her that "it seem'd [his] spirit flew." He feels as though he sees the world with her. He wishes that he could ride with her forever, "The instant made eternity." Indeed, the ride never seems to end—at least not in the poem itself. Perhaps the ride never actually happens. Could it all be in the speaker's head? Or, is the ride a metaphor for one final sexual encounter? These are all good questions to consider concerning this poem.
Another element that seems ripe for exploration is the poem's rhyme and rhythm. The rhyme scheme of each stanza is aabbcddeeec. This means that lines 1 and 2 rhyme (a), lines 3 and 4 rhyme (b), lines 5 and 11 rhyme (c), lines 6 and 7 rhyme (d), and lines 8, 9, and 10 rhyme (e). To begin, an eleven-line stanza is sort of odd, and it is also unusual to rhyme lines which are as far apart as lines 5 and 11. Moreover, the end rhyme of three lines in a row, as in lines 8–10, is also kind of peculiar. Why do you think Browning might use a stanza with an atypical number of lines and an atypical rhyme scheme such as this? In addition, the poem is written in iambic tetrameter, meaning that there are, typically, four feet per line (tetra-), each foot (called an iamb) consisting of one unstressed syllable followed by one stressed syllable. Here's line 1–2, for example, with each stressed syllable in bold and a "|" between feet:
I said | Then, dear | est, since | 'tis so
Since now | at length | my fate | I know
However, lines 10 and 11 of each stanza have an extra syllable, where an anapest (a type of foot with two unstressed syllables followed by one stressed syllable) is substituted for the final iamb. Here are lines 10–11 of the first stanza, marked as above, and with the anapest in italics:
And this | be side | if you | will not blame
You leave | for one | more last | ride with me
Why would Browning so conspicuously alter the rhythm in the final two lines of each stanza? What might these unusual features of the poem—that is, its rhythm and rhyme scheme—say about the speaker or the relationship depicted here?