by Robert Browning
FEAR death?- to feel the fog in my throat
The mist in my face
When the snows beginand the blasts denote
I am nearing the place
The power of the nightthe press of the storm
The post of the foe;
Where he standsthe Arch Fear in a visible form
Yet the strong man must go:
For the journey is done and the summit attained
And the barriers fall
Though a battle's to fight ere the guerdon be gained
The reward of it all.
I was ever a fighterso- one fight more
The best and the last!
I would hate that death bandaged my eyesand forbore
And bade me creep past.
No! let me taste the whole of itfare like my peers
The heroes of old
Bear the bruntin a minute pay glad life's arrears
Of paindarkness and cold.
For sudden the worse turns the best to the brave
The black minute's at end
And the elements' ragethe fiend-voices that rave
Shall dwindleshall blend
Shall changeshall become first a peace out of pain
Then a lightthen thy breast
O thou soul of my soul! I shall clasp thee again
And with God be the rest! - -