The Look

A poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

The Saviour looked on Peter. Ay, no word,
No gesture of reproach; the Heavens serene
Though heavy with armed justice, did not lean
Their thunders that way: the forsaken Lord
Looked only, on the traitor. None record
What that look was, none guess; for those who have seen
Wronged lovers loving through a death-pang keen,
Or pale-cheeked martyrs smiling to a sword,
Have missed Jehovah at the judgment-call.
And Peter, from the height of blasphemy
'I never knew this man' did quail and fall
As knowing straight that God; and turned free
And went out speechless from the face of all
And filled the silence, weeping bitterly.

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