The Victorian poet Robert Browning first published "Love in a Life" in his 1855 collection Men and Women. The mysterious poem follows its speaker as he searches his house for his beloved. The poem never reveals why this woman has disappeared; all readers know is that she seems to keep exiting a room just as the speaker enters, leaving taunting traces of her presence behind. The poem, which ends with the frantic speaker vowing to continue his search as night falls, speaks to the pain and fear of being separated from a loved one, perhaps through their death. (It's worth noting that Browning's wife and fellow poet, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, was sick at the time the poem was written.) "Love in a Life" has a companion piece, "Life in a Love," which appears in the same collection.