WOE, he went galloping into the war,
                       Clara, Clara!
Let us two dream: shall he ’scape with a scar?
Scarcely disfigurement, rather a grace
Making for manhood which nowise we mar:
See, while I kiss it, the flush on his face—
                       Rosny, Rosny!
Light does he laugh: “With your love in my soul”—
                       (Clara, Clara!)
“How could I other than—sound, safe, and whole—
Cleave who opposed me asunder, yet stand
Scatheless beside you, as, touching love’s goal,
Who won the race kneels, craves reward at your hand—
                       Rosny, Rosny?”
Ay, but if certain who envied should see
                       Clara, Clara.
Certain who simper: “The hero for me
Hardly of life were so chary as miss
Death—death and fame—that’s love’s guerdon when She
Boasts, proud bereaved one, her choice fell on this
                       Rosny, Rosny!”
So,—go on dreaming,—he lies mid a heap
                       (Clara, Clara,)
Of the slain by his hand: what is death but a sleep?
Dead, with my portrait displayed on his breast:
Love wrought in his undoing: “No prudence could keep
       The love-maddened wretch from his fate.”
               That is best,
                       Rosny, Rosny.
Other works by Robert Browning ...