The Patriot


:It was roses, roses, all the way’
With myrtle mixed in my path like mad:
The house-roofs seemed to heave and sway,
The church-spires flamed, such flags they had,
A year ago to this very day.

The air broke into a mist with bells,
The old walls rocked with the crowd and cries.
Had I said, ‘Good folk, mere noise repels…
But give me your sun from yonder skies!’
They had answered, ‘And afterward, what else?’

Alack, it was I who leaped at the sun
To give it my loving friends to keep!
Nought man could do, have I left undone:
And you see my harvest, what I reap
This very day, now a year is run.

There’s nobody on the house-tops now-
Just a palsied few at the windows set;
For the best of the sight is, all allow,
At the Shambles’ Gate—or better yet,
By the very scaffold’s foot, I trow.

I go in the rain, and more than needs,
A rope cuts both my wrists behind;
And I think, by the feel, my forehead bleeds,
For they fling, whoever has a mind,
Stones at me for my year’s misdeeds.

Thus I entered, and thus I go!
In triumphs, people have dropped down dead,
‘Paid by the world,what dost thou owe
Me?’—God might question; now instead,
‘Tis God shall repay, I am safer so.”

Robert Browning, The Patriot

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