Long and often had they figured for a larger

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Unformatted text preview: nd often had they figured for a larger valuation, But the size of their addition was the balance of a doubt: There were gentlemen of leisure in the Valley of the Shadow, Not allured by retrospection, disenchanted, and played out. And among the dark endurances of unavowed reprisals There were silent eyes of envy that saw little but saw well; And over beauty's aftermath of hazardous ambitions There were tears for what had vanished as they vanished where they fell. Not assured of what was theirs, and always hungry for the nameless, There were some whose only passion was for Time who made them cold: There were numerous fair women in the Valley of the Shadow, Dreaming rather less of heaven than of hell when they were old. Now and then, as if to scorn the common touch of common sorrow, There were some who gave a few the distant pity of a smile; And another cloaked a soul as with an ash of human embers, Having covered thus a treasure that would last him for a while. There were many by the presence of the many disaffected, Whose exemption was included in the weight that others bore: There were seekers after darkness in the Valley of the Shadow, And they alone were there to find what they were looking for. So they were, and so they are; and as they came are coming others, And among them are the fearless and the meek and the unborn; And a question that has held us heretofore without an answer May abide without an answer until all have ceased to mourn. For the children of the dark are more to name than are the wretched, Or the broken, or the weary, or the 3 The Three Taverns A Book of Poems By Edwin Arlington Robinson baffled, or the shamed: There are builders of new mansions in the Valley of the Shadow, And among them are the dying and the blinded and the maimed. 4 The Three Taverns A Book of Poems By Edwin Arlington Robinson The Wandering Jew I saw by looking in his eyes That they remembered everything; And this was how I came to know That he was here, still wandering. For though the figure and the scene Were never to be reconciled, I knew the man as I had known His image when I was a child. With evidence at every turn, I should have held it safe to guess That all the newness of New York Had nothing new in loneliness; Yet here was one who might be Noah, Or Nathan, or Abimelech, Or Lamech, out of ages lost, -- Or, more than all, Melchizedek. Assured that he was none of these, I gave them back their names again, To scan once more those endless eyes Where all my questions ended then. I found in them what they revealed That I shall not live to forget, And wondered if they found in mine Compassion that I might regret. Pity, I learned, was not the least Of time's offending benefits That had now for so long impugned The conservation of his wits: Rather it was that I should yield, Alone, the fealty that presents The tribute of a tempered ear To an untempered eloquence. Before I pondered long enough On whence he came and who he was, I trembled at his ringing wealth Of manifold anathemas; I wondered, while he seared the world, What new defection ailed the race, And if it mattered how remote Our fathers were from such a place. Before ther...
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This note was uploaded on 10/31/2010 for the course ENGLISH EN203 taught by Professor Micheal during the Spring '03 term at UC Irvine.

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