The Patriot

Poem By Robert Browning

AN OLD STORY.

I.

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 on this very day.

II.

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?''

III.

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.

IV.

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.

V.

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.

VI.

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.

Comments about The Patriot

this is really helpful
'The Patriot' is about how the mighty fall after a period of exhilerating popularity. In a sense it is the experience of most celebs nowadays. One minute you're the very best the next - yesterday's news, only in Browning's case he's talking about a patriot. The crowds are behaving differently to the ones a year ago. Before, they were worshipping, now they're waiting for his execution. The patriots who fit the bill are many, JC included. A poem for all time.


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A Woman's Last Word

Let's contend no more, Love,
Strive nor weep:
All be as before, Love,
---Only sleep!

A Pretty Woman

That fawn-skin-dappled hair of hers,
And the blue eye
Dear and dewy,
And that infantine fresh air of hers!

My Last Duchess

That's my last Duchess painted on the wall,
Looking as if she were alive. I call
That piece a wonder, now: Fr Pandolf's hands
Worked busily a day, and there she stands

After

Take the cloak from his face, and at first
Let the corpse do its worst!

How he lies in his rights of a man!

Before

Let them fight it out, friend! things have gone too far.
God must judge the couple: leave them as they are
---Whichever one's the guiltless, to his glory,
And whichever one the guilt's with, to my story!

The Laboratory-Ancien Régime

I.
Now that I, tying thy glass mask tightly,
May gaze thro' these faint smokes curling whitely,
As thou pliest thy trade in this devil's-smithy---