Treasure Island

Robert Browning

(1812-1889 / London / England)

Instans Tyrannus


I.

Of the million or two, more or less,
I rule and possess,
One man, for some cause undefined,
Was least to my mind.

II.

I struck him, he grovelled of course---
For, what was his force?
I pinned him to earth with my weight
And persistence of hate:
And he lay, would not moan, would not curse,
As his lot might be worse.

III.

``Were the object less mean, would he stand
``At the swing of my hand!
``For obscurity helps him and blots
``The hole where he squats.''
So, I set my five wits on the stretch
To inveigle the wretch.
All in vain! Gold and jewels I threw,
Still he couched there perdue;
I tempted his blood and his flesh,
Hid in roses my mesh,
Choicest cates and the flagon's best spilth:
Still he kept to his filth.

IV.

Had he kith now or kin, were access
To his heart, did I press:
Just a son or a mother to seize!
No such booty as these.
Were it simply a friend to pursue
'Mid my million or two,
Who could pay me in person or pelf
What he owes me himself!
No: I could not but smile through my chafe:
For the fellow lay safe
As his mates do, the midge and the nit,
---Through minuteness, to wit.

V.

Then a humour more great took its place
At the thought of his face,
The droop, the low cares of the mouth,
The trouble uncouth
'Twixt the brows, all that air one is fain
To put out of its pain.
And, ``no!'' I admonished myself,
``Is one mocked by an elf,
``Is one baffled by toad or by rat?
``The gravamen's in that!
``How the lion, who crouches to suit
``His back to my foot,
``Would admire that I stand in debate!
``But the small turns the great
``If it vexes you,---that is the thing!
``Toad or rat vex the king?
``Though I waste half my realm to unearth
``Toad or rat, 'tis well worth!''

VI.

So, I soberly laid my last plan
To extinguish the man.
Round his creep-hole, with never a break
Ran my fires for his sake;
Over-head, did my thunder combine
With my underground mine:
Till I looked from my labour content
To enjoy the event.

VII.

When sudden ... how think ye, the end?
Did I say ``without friend''?
Say rather, from marge to blue marge
The whole sky grew his targe
With the sun's self for visible boss,
While an Arm ran across
Which the earth heaved beneath like a breast
Where the wretch was safe prest!
Do you see? Just my vengeance complete,
The man sprang to his feet,
Stood erect, caught at God's skirts, and prayed!
---So, _I_ was afraid!

Submitted: Sunday, May 13, 2001
Edited: Sunday, May 13, 2001

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

What do you think this poem is about?



Read poems about / on: friend, hate, son, smile, mother, pain, sky, sun, spring, rose, running

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Instans Tyrannus by Robert Browning )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

New Poems

  1. SHADES OF LOVE, sherif monem
  2. A Shoulder to Weep, Col Muhamad Khalid Khan
  3. Help me I am here, Dustin Hardin
  4. Into your kingdom, hasmukh amathalal
  5. High rise, hasmukh amathalal
  6. Before Death, Ajaeyy Raaj
  7. the toothless Tiger Dynasties, veeraiyah subbulakshmi
  8. The Spray, Akhtar Jawad
  9. Think and breathe, hasmukh amathalal
  10. Love for care, hasmukh amathalal

Poem of the Day

poet Sir Walter Raleigh

EVEN such is Time, that takes in trust
Our youth, our joys, our all we have,
And pays us but with earth and dust;
   Who in the dark and silent grave,
...... Read complete »

   

Member Poem

Trending Poems

  1. 04 Tongues Made Of Glass, Shaun Shane
  2. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  3. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  4. If, Rudyard Kipling
  5. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  6. A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe
  7. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  8. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  9. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  10. Fire and Ice, Robert Frost

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]