Robert Browning's "Among the Rocks" is the seventh in a nine-poem sequence titled "James Lee's Wife" (or, in its original printing, plain old "James Lee"), the opening piece in Browning's important 1864 collection Dramatis Personae. That Latin phrase, meaning "persons of the drama," usually introduces a cast list at the front of a play—and is thus a fitting title for a book containing some of Browning's greatest dramatic monologues, poetic speeches in the voice of a particular character. The speaker here is James Lee's titular wife, an otherwise nameless woman struggling with a fraught, painful marriage. Elsewhere in the sequence, she worries that love is fleeting and deceptive, her marriage fragile and unbalanced. Here, on a clear autumn morning, she has a moment of sudden courageous resolve: moved by the "good gigantic smile o' the brown old earth," she vows to embrace "life's trial" and love's disappointments so long as she's in this world, hoping that greater "gain" will follow in the world "above."