Men and Women


Robert Browning

TAKE the cloak from his face, and at first
    Let the corpse do its worst!
How he lies in his rights of a man!
    Death has done all death can.
And, absorbed in the new life he leads,
    He recks not, he heeds
Nor his wrong nor my vengeance—both strike
    On his senses alike,
And are lost in the solemn and strange
    Surprise of the change.
Ha, what avails death to erase
    His offence, my disgrace?
I would we were boys as of old
    In the field, by the fold—
His outrage, God’s patience, man’s scorn
    Were so easily borne!

I stand here now, he lies in his place:
    Cover the face!

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