Robert Browning

(1812-1889 / London / England)

Time's Revenges


I've a Friend, over the sea;
I like him, but he loves me.
It all grew out of the books I write;
They find such favour in his sight
That he slaughters you with savage looks
Because you don't admire my books.
He does himself though,---and if some vein
Were to snap to-night in this heavy brain,
To-morrow month, if I lived to try,
Round should I just turn quietly,
Or out of the bedclothes stretch my hand
Till I found him, come from his foreign land
To be my nurse in this poor place,
And make my broth and wash my face
And light my fire and, all the while,
Bear with his old good-humoured smile
That I told him ``Better have kept away
``Than come and kill me, night and day,
``With, worse than fever throbs and shoots,
``The creaking of his clumsy boots.''
I am as sure that this he would do
As that Saint Paul's is striking two.
And I think I rather ... woe is me!
---Yes, rather would see him than not see,
If lifting a hand could seat him there
Before me in the empty chair
To-night, when my head aches indeed,
And I can neither think nor read
Nor make these purple fingers hold
The pen; this garret's freezing cold!

And I've a Lady---there he wakes,
The laughing fiend and prince of snakes
Within me, at her name, to pray
Fate send some creature in the way
Of my love for her, to be down-torn,
Upthrust and outward-borne,
So I might prove myself that sea
Of passion which I needs must be!
Call my thoughts false and my fancies quaint
And my style infirm and its figures faint,
All the critics say, and more blame yet,
And not one angry word you get.
But, please you, wonder I would put
My cheek beneath that lady's foot
Rather than trample under mine
The laurels of the Florentine,
And you shall see how the devil spends
A fire God gave for other ends!
I tell you, I stride up and down
This garret, crowned with love's best crown,
And feasted with love's perfect feast,
To think I kill for her, at least,
Body and soul and peace and fame,
Alike youth's end and manhood's aim,
---So is my spirit, as flesh with sin,
Filled full, eaten out and in
With the face of her, the eyes of her,
The lips, the little chin, the stir
Of shadow round her month; and she
---I'll tell you,---calmly would decree
That I should roast at a slow fire,
If that would compass her desire
And make her one whom they invite
To the famous ball to-morrow night.

There may be heaven; there must be hell;
Meantime, there is our earth here---well!

Submitted: Sunday, May 13, 2001

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

Read poems about / on: fire, purple, sea, passion, night, fate, peace, friend, smile, time, heaven, light, snake

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 (Time's Revenges by Robert Browning )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

Trending Poets

Trending Poems

  1. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  2. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
  3. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  4. Invictus, William Ernest Henley
  5. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  6. The Saddest Poem, Pablo Neruda
  7. True Love, Robert Penn Warren
  8. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  9. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  10. Warning, Jenny Joseph

Poem of the Day

poet Sarah Flower Adams

O Love! thou makest all things even
In earth or heaven;
Finding thy way through prison-bars
Up to the stars;
Or, true to the Almighty plan,
That out of dust created man,
...... Read complete »

   

New Poems

  1. God's Most Published Poet, Tom Zart
  2. Fruitless love, Nero CaroZiv
  3. Misunderstood, Madrason writer
  4. Do what father says, Madrason writer
  5. Placid Emotions, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
  6. Verzetsstrijders, Madrason writer
  7. Weke vaders, Madrason writer
  8. Disconnected, Madrason writer
  9. From what tall lie am I, Madrason writer
  10. Out Of Body, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
[Hata Bildir]