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Unformatted text preview: eauty, or the Lord knows what, And say to me aloud what else there is Than ruins in it that you most admire. No, there was never anything like that; Nature has never fastened such a mask Of radiant and impenetrable merit On any woman as you say there is On this one. Not a mask? I thank you, sir, But you see more with your determination, I fear, than with your prudence or your conscience; And you have never met me with my eyes In all the mirrors I've made faces at. No, I shall never call you strange again: You are the young and inconvincible Epitome of all blind men since Adam. May the blind lead
54 The Three Taverns A Book of Poems By Edwin Arlington Robinson the blind, if that be so? And we shall need no mirrors? You are saying What most I feared you might. But if the blind, Or one of them, be not so fortunate As to put out the eyes of recollection, She might at last, without her meaning it, Lead on the other, without his knowing it, Until the two of them should lose themselves Among dead craters in a lava-field As empty as a desert on the moon. I am not speaking in a theatre, But in a room so real and so familiar That sometimes I would wreck it. Then I pause, Remembering there is a King in Weimar -- A monarch, and a poet, and a shepherd Of all who are astray and are outside The realm where they should rule. I think of him, And save the furniture; I think of you, And am forlorn, finding in you the one To lavish aspirations and illusions Upon a faded and forsaken house Where love, being locked alone, was nigh to burning House and himself together. Yes, you are strange, To see in such an injured architecture Room for new love to live in. Are you laughing? No? Well, you are not crying, as you should be. Tears, even if they told only gratitude For your escape, and had no other story, Were surely more becoming than a smile For my unwomanly straightforwardness In seeing for you, through my close gate of years Your forty ways to freedom. Why do you smile? And while I'm trembling at my faith in you In giving you to read this book of danger That only one man living might have written -These letters, which have been a part of me So long that you may read them all again As often as you look into my face, And hear them when I speak to you, and feel them Whenever you have to touch me with your hand, -- Why are you so unwilling to be spared? Why do you still believe in me? But no, I'll find another way to ask you that. I wonder if there is another way That says it better, and means anything. There is no other way that could be worse? I was not asking you; it was myself Alone that I was asking. Why do I dip For lies, when there is nothing in my well But shining truth, you say? How do you know? Truth has a lonely life down where she lives; And many a time, when she comes up to breathe, She sinks before we seize her, and makes ripples. Possibly you may know no more of me Than a few ripples; and they may soon be gone, Leaving you then with all my shining truth Drowned in a shining water; and when you look You may not see me there, but something else That never was a
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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.
- Spring '03
- The Bible