After (Browning)

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For works with similar titles, see After.
After  (1845) 
by 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!


This work was published before January 1, 1923, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.