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W. Garrett Horder, comp. The Poets’ Bible: New Testament. 1895.

The Meaning of the Look

Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806–1861)

I THINK that look of Christ might seem to say—

‘Thou Peter! art thou then a common stone

Which I at last must break my heart upon,

For all God’s charge to His high angels may

Guard my foot better? Did I yesterday

Wash thy feet, my beloved, that they should run

Quick to deny me ’neath the morning sun?

And do thy kisses, like the rest, betray?

The cock crows coldly.—Go, and manifest

A late contrition, but no bootless fear!

For when thy final need is dreariest,

Thou shalt not be denied, as I am here;

My voice to God and angels shall attest,

Because I KNOW this man, let him be clear.’