Why does the speaker say “I am safer so” in the last line of Robert Browning’s poem ‘The Patriot’?
The last three lines of the poem reflects Browning’s stout religious belief quite similar to what was expressed towards the end of The Last Ride Together. He believes that one should not get all success and enjoyment in the earthly world. That is how he can get that in the heaven after death.
“Paid by the world, what dost thou owe
Me?”—God might question; now instead,
’Tis God shall repay: I am safer so
The patriot here says that if he gets everything in this world, God would ask him, “You have been paid by the world. Now what more do you want from me?” But, as he has not got recognition for what all he has done in this world and as people have misunderstood his deeds and punished him, God will repay him in the heaven after his death. So, he feels safer now to surely go to heaven and win God’s grace there.
The patriot feels safe in the bosom of God. He feels that if he had died a year ago (when he was welcomed as a hero), God would not have cared for him but now when he has not been rewarded by his people, he was certain to be rewarded in heaven. Thus, even in intense defeat he finds something to console himself and believes that it is God who will reward him according to his true merits.
Robert Browning’s own philosophy that ‘God’s in His heaven, and all’s right with the world’ is the note on which the poem ends.