Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE PATRIOT; AN OLD STORY, by ROBERT BROWNING



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THE PATRIOT; AN OLD STORY, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: It was roses, roses all the way
Last Line: T is god shall repay: I am safer so.
Subject(s): Arnold Of Brescia (1100-1155); Clergy; Courage; Reform & Reformers; Priests; Rabbis; Ministers; Bishops; Valor; Bravery


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.

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!
Naught 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,
T is God shall repay: I am safer so.





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