After (Browning)

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For works with similar titles, see After.




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.