The Patriot

 Greg Wise

  The Patriot by Robert Browning

  performed by Greg Wise

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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 crowds and cries.
Had I said, ‘Good folks, 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 such 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.