Unformatted text preview: light yoke, made lighter by the wearing, Till it shall have the wonder and the weight Of a clear jewel, shining with a light Wherein the sun and all the fiery stars May soon be fading. When Gamaliel said That if they be of men these things are nothing, But if they be of God they are for none To overthrow, he spoke as a good Jew, And one who stayed a Jew; and he said all. And you know, by the temper of your faith, How far the fire is in you that I felt Before I knew Damascus. A word here, Or there, or not there, or not anywhere, Is not the Word that lives and is the life; And you, therefore, need weary not yourselves With jealous aches of others. If the world Were not a world of aches and innovations, Attainment would have no more joy of it. There will be creeds and schisms, creeds in creeds, And schisms in schisms; myriads will be done To death because a farthing has two sides, And is at last a farthing. Telling you this, I, who bid men to live, appeal to Caesar. Once I had said the ways of God were dark, Meaning by that the dark ways of the Law. Such is the glory of our tribulations; For the Law kills the flesh that kills the Law, And we are then alive. We have eyes then; And we have then the Cross between two worlds -- To guide us, or to blind us for a time, Till we have eyes indeed. The fire that smites A few on highways, changing all at once, Is not for all. The power that holds the world Away from God that holds himself away -- Farther away than all your works and words Are like to fly without the wings of faith -- Was not, nor ever shall be, a small hazard Enlivening the ways of easy leisure Or the cold road of knowledge. When our eyes Have wisdom, we see more than we remember; And the old world of our captivities May then become a smitten glimpse of ruin, Like one where vanished hewers have had their day Of wrath on Lebanon. Before we see, Meanwhile, we suffer; and I come to you, At last, through many storms and through much night. Yet whatsoever I have undergone, My keepers in this instance are not
12 The Three Taverns A Book of Poems By Edwin Arlington Robinson hard. But for the chance of an ingratitude, I might indeed be curious of their mercy, And fearful of their leisure while I wait, A few leagues out of Rome. Men go to Rome, Not always to return -- but not that now. Meanwhile, I seem to think you look at me With eyes that are at last more credulous Of my identity. You remark in me No sort of leaping giant, though some words Of mine to you from Corinth may have leapt A little through your eyes into your soul. I trust they were alive, and are alive Today; for there be none that shall indite So much of nothing as the man of words Who writes in the Lord's name for his name's sake And has not in his blood the fire of time To warm eternity. Let such a man -- If once the light is in him and endures -- Content himself to be the general man, Set free to sift the decencies and thereby To learn, except he be one set aside For sorrow, more of pleasure than of pain; Though if his light be not the light indeed, But a brief shine that never really was, And fails, leaving him worse than where he was, Then shall he be of all men destitute. And here were not an...
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- Spring '03
- The Bible, 2007 singles, Edwin Arlington Robinson