Treasure Island

Robert Browning

(1812-1889 / London / England)

The Lost Leader


I.

Just for a handful of silver he left us,
Just for a riband to stick in his coat---
Found the one gift of which fortune bereft us,
Lost all the others she lets us devote;
They, with the gold to give, doled him out silver,
So much was theirs who so little allowed:
How all our copper had gone for his service!
Rags---were they purple, his heart had been proud!
We that had loved him so, followed him, honoured him,
Lived in his mild and magnificent eye,
Learned his great language, caught his clear accents,
Made him our pattern to live and to die!
Shakespeare was of us, Milton was for us,
Burns, Shelley, were with us,---they watch from their graves!
He alone breaks from the van and the free-men,
---He alone sinks to the rear and the slaves!

II.

We shall march prospering,---not thro' his presence;
Songs may inspirit us,---not from his lyre;
Deeds will be done,---while he boasts his quiescence,
Still bidding crouch whom the rest bade aspire:
Blot out his name, then, record one lost soul more,
One task more declined, one more foot-path untrod,
One more devils'-triumph and sorrow for angels,
One wrong more to man, one more insult to God!
Life's night begins: let him never come back to us!
There would be doubt, hesitation and pain,
Forced praise on our part---the glimmer of twilight,
Never glad confident morning again!
Best fight on well, for we taught him---strike gallantly,
Menace our heart ere we master his own;
Then let him receive the new knowledge and wait us,
Pardoned in heaven, the first by the throne!

Submitted: 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: silver, purple, lost, alone, sorrow, heaven, pain, heart, god, night, angel

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 (The Lost Leader by Robert Browning )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

New Poems

  1. How Was Your Day?, Donald R Charon
  2. we never did go bowling, Mandolyn ...
  3. How To Tie The Knot, Foster Teegarden
  4. hurry husband, shush my alliteration, Mandolyn ...
  5. Sharp Is The Bite, Donald R Charon
  6. Erato my Muse of love poetry. (Part 2), Erato
  7. Headache, Foster Teegarden
  8. Autumn Season, Tirupathi Chandrupatla
  9. mommy, Josephine Taylor
  10. Friendly Union, Tirupathi Chandrupatla

Poem of the Day

poet Rupert Brooke

If I should die, think only this of me:
That there's some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever England. There shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
...... Read complete »

   

Trending Poems

  1. 04 Tongues Made Of Glass, Shaun Shane
  2. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  3. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  4. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  5. No Man Is An Island, John Donne
  6. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  7. Invictus, William Ernest Henley
  8. 1914 V: The Soldier, Rupert Brooke
  9. The Raven, Edgar Allan Poe
  10. Dreams, Langston Hughes

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]