When the silence comes i shall in faith be nearer to

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Unformatted text preview: to you then Than I am now in fact. What you see now Is only the outside of an old man, Older than years have made him. Let him die, And let him be a thing for little grief. There was a time for service, and he served; And there is no more time for anything But a short gratefulness to those who gave Their scared allegiance to an enterprise That has the name of treason -- which will serve As well as any other for the present. There are some deeds of men that have no names, And mine may like as not be one of them. I am not looking far for names tonight. The King of Glory was without a name Until men gave him one; yet there He was, Before we found Him and affronted Him With numerous ingenuities of evil, Of which one, with His aid, is to be swept And washed out of the world with fire and blood. Once I believed it might have come to pass With a small cost of blood; but I was dreaming -- Dreaming that I believed. The Voice I heard When I left you behind me in the north, -- To wait there and to wonder and grow old Of loneliness, -- told only what was best, And with a saving vagueness, I should know Till I knew more. And had I known even then -- After grim years of search and suffering, So many of them to end as they began -After my sickening doubts and estimations Of plans abandoned and of 30 The Three Taverns A Book of Poems By Edwin Arlington Robinson new plans vain -- After a weary delving everywhere For men with every virtue but the Vision -- Could I have known, I say, before I left you That summer morning, all there was to know -- Even unto the last consuming word That would have blasted every mortal answer As lightning would annihilate a leaf, I might have trembled on that summer morning; I might have wavered; and I might have failed. And there are many among men today To say of me that I had best have wavered. So has it been, so shall it always be, For those of us who give ourselves to die Before we are so parcelled and approved As to be slaughtered by authority. We do not make so much of what they say As they of what our folly says of us; They give us hardly time enough for that, And thereby we gain much by losing little. Few are alive to-day with less to lose Than I who tell you this, or more to gain; And whether I speak as one to be destroyed For no good end outside his own destruction, Time shall have more to say than men shall hear Between now and the coming of that harvest Which is to come. Before it comes, I go -- By the short road that mystery makes long For man's endurance of accomplishment. I shall have more to say when I am dead. 31 The Three Taverns A Book of Poems By Edwin Arlington Robinson The False Gods "We are false and evanescent, and aware of our deceit, From the straw that is our vitals to the clay that is our feet. You may serve us if you must, and you shall have your wage of ashes, -- Though arrears due thereafter may be hard for you to meet. "You may swear that we are solid, you may say that we are strong, But we know that we are neither and we say that you are wrong; You may find an easy worship in acclaiming our indulgence, But your large admiration of us now is not for long. "If your doom is to adore us with a doubt...
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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.

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