Square as a box and chillier than a tomb it was

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Unformatted text preview: recorded. Women there may have been To wish him back, though I should say, not knowing, The few there were to mourn were not for love, And were not lovely. Nothing of them, at least, Was in the meagre legend that I gathered Years after, when a chance of travel took me So near the region of his nativity That a few miles of leisure brought me there; For there I found a friendly citizen Who led me to his house among the trees That were above a railroad and a river. Square as a box and chillier than a tomb It was indeed, to look at or to live in -- All which had I been told. "Ferguson died," The stranger said, "and then there was an auction. I live here, but I've never yet been warm. Remember him? Yes, I remember him. I knew him -- as a man may know a tree -- For twenty years. He may have held himself A little high when he was here, but now . . . Yes, I remember Ferguson. Oh, yes." Others, I found, remembered Ferguson, But none of them had heard of Tasker Norcross. 44 The Three Taverns A Book of Poems By Edwin Arlington Robinson A Song at Shannon's Two men came out of Shannon's having known The faces of each other for as long As they had listened there to an old song, Sung thinly in a wastrel monotone By some unhappy night-bird, who had flown Too many times and with a wing too strong To save himself, and so done heavy wrong To more frail elements than his alone. Slowly away they went, leaving behind More light than was before them. Neither met The other's eyes again or said a word. Each to his loneliness or to his kind, Went his own way, and with his own regret, Not knowing what the other may have heard. 45 The Three Taverns A Book of Poems By Edwin Arlington Robinson Souvenir A vanished house that for an hour I knew By some forgotten chance when I was young Had once a glimmering window overhung With honeysuckle wet with evening dew. Along the path tall dusky dahlias grew, And shadowy hydrangeas reached and swung Ferociously; and over me, among The moths and mysteries, a blurred bat flew. Somewhere within there were dim presences Of days that hovered and of years gone by. I waited, and between their silences There was an evanescent faded noise; And though a child, I knew it was the voice Of one whose occupation was to die. 46 The Three Taverns A Book of Poems By Edwin Arlington Robinson Discovery We told of him as one who should have soared And seen for us the devastating light Whereof there is not either day or night, And shared with us the glamour of the Word That fell once upon Amos to record For men at ease in Zion, when the sight Of ills obscured aggrieved him and the might Of Hamath was a warning of the Lord. Assured somehow that he would make us wise, Our pleasure was to wait; and our surprise Was hard when we confessed the dry return Of his regret. For we were still to learn That earth has not a school where we may go For wisdom, or for more than we may know. 47 The Three Taverns A Book of Poems By Edwin Arlington Robinson Firelight Ten years together without yet a cloud, They seek each other's eyes at intervals Of gratefulness to firelight...
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