This preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.
Unformatted text preview: re; For what I show you here will not be there. The devil has had his way with paint before, And he's an artist, -- and you needn't stare. There was a painter and he painted well: He'd paint you Daniel in the lions' den, Beelzebub, Elaine, or William Tell. I'm coming back to Nimmo's eyes again. The painter put the devil in those eyes, Unless the devil did, and there he stayed; And then the lady fled from paradise, And there's your fact. The lady was afraid. She must have been afraid, or may have been, Of evil in their velvet
57 The Three Taverns A Book of Poems By Edwin Arlington Robinson all the while; But sure as I'm a sinner with a skin, I'll trust the man as long as he can smile. I trust him who can smile and then may live In my heart's house, where Nimmo is today. God knows if I have more than men forgive To tell him; but I played, and I shall pay. I knew him then, and if I know him yet, I know in him, defeated and estranged, The calm of men forbidden to forget The calm of women who have loved and changed. But there are ways that are beyond our ways, Or he would not be calm and she be mute, As one by one their lost and empty days Pass without even the warmth of a dispute. God help us all when women think they see; God save us when they do. I'm fair; but though I know him only as he looks to me, I know him, -and I tell Francesca so. And what of Nimmo? Little would you ask Of him, could you but see him as I can, At his bewildered and unfruitful task Of being what he was born to be -- a man. Better forget that I said anything Of what your tortured memory may disclose; I know him, and your worst remembering Would count as much as nothing, I suppose. Meanwhile, I trust him; and I know his way Of trusting me, as always in his youth. I'm painting here a better man, you say, Than I, the painter; and you say the truth. 58 The Three Taverns A Book of Poems By Edwin Arlington Robinson Peace on Earth
He took a frayed hat from his head, And "Peace on Earth" was what he said. "A morsel out of what you're worth, And there we have it: Peace on Earth. Not much, although a little more Than what there was on earth before. I'm as you see, I'm Ichabod, -- But never mind the ways I've trod; I'm sober now, so help me God." I could not pass the fellow by. "Do you believe in God?" said I; "And is there to be Peace on Earth?" "Tonight we celebrate the birth," He said, "of One who died for men; The Son of God, we say. What then? Your God, or mine? I'd make you laugh Were I to tell you even half That I have learned of mine today Where yours would hardly seem to stay. Could He but follow in and out Some anthropoids I know about, The God to whom you may have prayed Might see a world He never made." "Your words are flowing full," said I; "But yet they give me no reply; Your fountain might as well be dry." "A wiser One than you, my friend, Would wait and hear me to the end; And for His eyes a light would shine Through this unpleasant shell of mine That in your fancy makes of me A Christmas curiosity. All right, I might...
View Full Document
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