Why did Robert Browning break the poem "Meeting at Night" into two separate stanzas?

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Browning creates an interesting symmetry between the two stanzas. The first stanza depicts the speaker's travel by water to get to his lover, while the second depicts the speaker's travel by land and eventual arrival at his lover's home. In the first, he leaves, and in the second, he arrives....

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Browning creates an interesting symmetry between the two stanzas. The first stanza depicts the speaker's travel by water to get to his lover, while the second depicts the speaker's travel by land and eventual arrival at his lover's home. In the first, he leaves, and in the second, he arrives. In the first stanza, water is compared to fire via a metaphor that describes it as "fiery ringlets"; in the second stanza, fire is compared to water via a metaphor that describes a match igniting as a "blue spurt." Further, the rhyme scheme of each stanza follows the same pattern. In the first stanza, lines 1 and 6 rhyme, as do lines 2 and 5 and lines 3 and 4. It's similar for the second stanza, where lines 7 and 12, 8 and 11, and 9 and 10 rhyme. I've heard this pattern described as waves of rhyme, because they seem to crest in the middle of each stanza and then recede; the pattern is abccba deffed.

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Robert Brown breaks “Meeting at Night” into two distinctly numbered stanzas to show the change from the voyage at sea to the trek across the land. In the first stanza, he uses vivid imagery to describe the sea at night. The reader sees the “grey sea” as it meets the “long black land” and sees the “yellow half-moon” as it hangs low in the sky. He goes on to describe the waves as he steers his boat into the cove and hits the sand.

In the second stanza, Browning lets the reader know that he has beached the boat and is now walking across farmland to meet his lover in her farmhouse. A match lights and the lovers meet, “two hearts beating each to each!”

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