Edwin Arlington Robinson Poems (178 Poems)

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    Mr. Flood’s Party (Edwin Arlington Robinson Poems)

       Old Eben Flood, climbing alone one night   Over the hill between the town below   And the forsaken upland hermitage   That held as much as he should ever know   On earth again of home, paused warily.   The road was his with not a native near;   And Eben, having leisure, said aloud,   For no man else in Tilbury Town to hear:   “Well, Mr. Flood, we have the harvest moon  Again, and we may not have many more;  The bird is on the wing, the poet says,  And you and I have said it here before.  Drink to the bird.” He raised up to the light  The jug that he had gone so far to fill,  And answered huskily: “Well, Mr. Flood,  Since you propose it, I believe I will.”   Alone, as if enduring to the end  A valiant armor of scarred hopes outworn,  He stood there in the middle of the road  Like Roland’s ghost winding a silent horn.  Below him, in the town among the trees,  Where friends of other days had honored him,  A phantom salutation of the dead  Rang thinly till old Eben’s eyes were dim.   Then, as a mother lays her sleeping child  Down tenderly, fearing it may awake,  He set the jug down slowly at his feet  With trembling care, knowing that most things break;  And only when assured that on firm earth  It stood, as the uncertain lives of men  Assuredly did not, he paced away,  And with his hand extended paused again:   “Well, Mr. Flood, we have not met like this  In a long time; and many a change has come  To both of us, I fear, since last it was  We had a drop together. Welcome home!”  Convivially returning with himself,  Again he raised the jug up to the light;  And with an acquiescent quaver said:  “Well, Mr. Flood, if you insist, I might.   “Only a very little, Mr. Flood —  For auld lang syne. No more, sir; that will do.”  So, for the time, apparently it did,  And Eben evidently thought so too;  For soon amid the silver loneliness  Of night he lifted up his voice and sang,  Secure, with only two moons listening,  Until the whole harmonious landscape rang —   “For auld lang syne.” The weary throat gave out,  The last word wavered; and the song being done,  He raised again the jug regretfully  And shook his head, and was again alone.  There was not much that was ahead of him,  And there was nothing in the town below —  Where strangers would have shut the many doors  That many friends had opened long ago. (Edwin Arlington Robinson)

    Sonnet 32: The Children of the Night (Edwin Arlington Robinson Poems)

    Oh for a poet-for a beacon bright  To rift this changless glimmer of dead gray;  To spirit back the Muses, long astray,  And flush Parnassus with a newer light;  To put these little sonnet-men to flightWho fashion, in a shrewd … Continue reading

    Mr Flood’s Party (Edwin Arlington Robinson Poems)

    Old Eben Flood, climbing alone one night Over the hill between the town below And the forsaken upland hermitage That held as much as he should ever know On earth again of home, paused warily. The road was his with … Continue reading

    Thomas Hood (Edwin Arlington Robinson Poems)

    The man who cloaked his bitterness within This winding-sheet of puns and pleasantries, God never gave to look with common eyes Upon a world of anguish and of sin: His brother was the branded man of Lynn; And there are … Continue reading

    The Dark Hills (Edwin Arlington Robinson Poems)

    Dark hills at evening in the west, Where sunset hovers like a sound Of golden horns that sang to rest Old bones of warriors under ground, Far now from all the bannered ways Where flash the legions of the sun, … Continue reading

    But for the Grace of God (Edwin Arlington Robinson Poems)

    “There, but for the grace of God, goes.” There is a question that I ask, And ask again: What hunger was half-hidden by the mask That he wore then? There was a word for me to say That I said … Continue reading

    Zola (Edwin Arlington Robinson Poems)

    Because he puts the compromising chart Of hell before your eyes, you are afraid; Because he counts the price that you have paid For innocence, and counts it from the start, You loathe him. But he sees the human heart … Continue reading

    Twilight Song (Edwin Arlington Robinson Poems)

    Through the shine, through the rain We have shared the day’s load; To the old march again We have tramped the long road; We have laughed, we have cried, And we’ve tossed the King’s crown; We have fought, we have … Continue reading

    Many Are Called (Edwin Arlington Robinson Poems)

    The Lord Apollo, who has never died, Still holds alone his immemorial reign, Supreme in an impregnable domain That with his magic he has fortified; And though melodious multitudes have tried In ecstasy, in anguish, and in vain, With invocation … Continue reading

    Job the Rejected (Edwin Arlington Robinson Poems)

    They met, and overwhelming her distrust With penitence, he praised away her fear; They married, and Job gave him half a year To wreck the temple, as we knew he must. He fumbled hungrily to readjust A fallen altar, but … Continue reading

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