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Unformatted text preview: n the name of Ahab, Hamilton, Have you, in the last region of your dreaming, To do with "people"? You may be the devil In your deadreckoning of what reefs and shoals Are waiting on the progress of our ship Unless you steer it, but you'll find it irksome Alone there in the stern; and some warm day There'll be an inland music in the rigging, And afterwards on deck. I'm not affined Or favored overmuch at Monticello, But there's a mighty swarming of new bees About the premises, and all have wings. If you hear something buzzing before long, Be thoughtful how you strike, remembering also There was a fellow Naboth had a vineyard, And Ahab cut his hair off and went softly. HAMILTON I don't remember that he cut his hair off. BURR
25 The Three Taverns A Book of Poems By Edwin Arlington Robinson Somehow I rather fancy that he did. If so, it's in the Book; and if not so, He did the rest, and did it handsomely. HAMILTON Commend yourself to Ahab and his ways If they inveigle you to emulation; But where, if I may ask it, are you tending With your invidious wielding of the Scriptures? You call to mind an eminent archangel Who fell to make him famous. Would you fall So far as he, to be so far remembered? BURR Before I fall or rise, or am an angel, I shall acquaint myself a little further With our new land's new language, which is not -- Peace to your dreams -- an idiom to your liking. I'm wondering if a man may always know How old a man may be at thirty-seven; I wonder likewise if a prettier time Could be decreed for a good man to vanish Than about now for you, before you fade, And even your friends are seeing that you have had Your cup too full for longer mortal triumph. Well, you have had enough, and had it young; And the old wine is nearer to the lees Than you are to the work that you are doing. HAMILTON When does this philological excursion Into new lands and languages begin? BURR Anon -- that is, already. Only Fortune Gave me this afternoon the benefaction Of your blue back, which I for love pursued, And in pursuing may have saved your life -- Also the world a pounding piece of news: Hamilton bites the dust of Washington, Or rather of his horse. For you alone, Or for your fame, I'd wish it might have been so. HAMILTON Not every man among us has a friend So jealous for the other's fame. How long Are you to diagnose the doubtful case Of Demos -- and what for? Have you a sword For some new Damocles? If it's for me, I have lost all official appetite, And shall have faded, after January, Into the law. I'm going to New York. BURR
26 The Three Taverns A Book of Poems By Edwin Arlington Robinson No matter where you are, one of these days I shall come back to you and tell you something. This Demos, I have heard, has in his wrist A pulse that no two doctors have as yet Counted and found the same, and in his mouth A tongue that has the like alacrity For saying or not for saying what most it is That pullulates in his ignoble mind. One of these days I shall appear again, To t...
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- Spring '03
- The Bible