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Unformatted text preview: t;It may be quite as well we don't," he said; "As well, I mean, that we don't always say it. You know best what I mean, and I suppose You might have said it better. What was that? Incorrigible? Am I incorrigible? Well, it's a word; and a word has its use, Or, like a man, it will soon have a grave. It's a good word enough. Incorrigible, May be, for all I know, the word for Norcross. See for yourself that house of his again That he called home: An old house, painted white, Square as a box, and chillier than a tomb To look at or to live in. There were trees -- Too many of them, if such a thing may be -Before it and around it. Down in front There was a road, a railroad, and a river; Then there were hills behind it, and more trees. The thing would fairly stare at you through trees, Like a pale inmate out of a barred window With a green shade half down; and I dare say People who passed
40 The Three Taverns A Book of Poems By Edwin Arlington Robinson have said: `There's where he lives. We know him, but we do not seem to know That we remember any good of him, Or any evil that is interesting. There you have all we know and all we care.' They might have said it in all sorts of ways; And then, if they perceived a cat, they might Or might not have remembered what they said. The cat might have a personality -And maybe the same one the Lord left out Of Tasker Norcross, who, for lack of it, Saw the same sun go down year after year; All which at last was my discovery. And only mine, so far as evidence Enlightens one more darkness. You have known All round you, all your days, men who are nothing -- Nothing, I mean, so far as time tells yet Of any other need it has of them Than to make sextons hardy -- but no less Are to themselves incalculably something, And therefore to be cherished. God, you see, Being sorry for them in their fashioning, Indemnified them with a quaint esteem Of self, and with illusions long as life. You know them well, and you have smiled at them; And they, in their serenity, may have had Their time to smile at you. Blessed are they That see themselves for what they never were Or were to be, and are, for their defect, At ease with mirrors and the dim remarks That pass their tranquil ears." "Come, come," said I; "There may be names in your compendium That we are not yet all on fire for shouting. Skin most of us of our mediocrity, We should have nothing then that we could scratch. The picture smarts. Cover it, if you please, And do so rather gently. Now for Norcross." Ferguson closed his eyes in resignation, While a dead sigh came out of him. "Good God!" He said, and said it only half aloud, As if he knew no longer now, nor cared, If one were there to listen: "Have I said nothing -Nothing at all -- of Norcross? Do you mean To patronize him till his name becomes A toy made out of letters? If a name Is all you need, arrange an honest column Of all the people you have ever known That you have never liked. You'll have enough; And you'll have mine, moreover. No, not yet. If...
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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