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Selections from the Poems and Plays of Robert Browning By Robert Browning Characters: 1040

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:04

And "What mockery or malice have we here?" cries Hervé Riel;45

"Are you mad, you Malouins? Are you cowards, fools, or rogues?

Talk to me of rocks and shoals, me who took the soundings, tell

On my fingers every bank, every shallow, every smell

'Twixt the offing here and Grève where the river disembogues?

Are you bought by English gold? Is it love the lying's for?50

Morn and eve, night and day,

Have I piloted your bay,

Entered free and anchored fast at the foot of Solidor.

Burn the fleet an

d ruin France? That were worse than fifty Hogues!

Sirs, they know I speak the truth! Sirs, believe me there's a way!55

Only let me lead the line,

Have the biggest ship to steer,

Get this Formidable clear,

Make the others follow mine,

And I lead them, most and least, by a passage I know well,60

Right to Solidor past Grève,

And there lay them safe and sound;

And if one ship misbehave

-Keel so much as grate the ground,

Why, I've nothing but my life;-here's my head!" cries Hervé Riel.60

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