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Unformatted text preview: be worse than that; And you might now be lying flat; I might have done it from behind, And taken what there was to find. Don't worry, for I'm not that kind. `Do I believe in God?' Is that The price tonight of a new hat? Has He commanded that His name Be written everywhere the same? Have all who live in every place Identified His hidden face? Who knows but He may like as well My story as one you may tell? And if He show me there be Peace On Earth, as there be fields and trees Outside a jail-yard, am I wrong If now I sing Him a new song? Your world is in yourself, my friend, For your endurance to the end; And all the Peace there is on Earth Is faith in what your world is worth, And saying, without any lies, Your world could not be otherwise." "One might say that and then be shot," I told him; and he said: "Why not?" I ceased, and gave him rather more Than he was counting of my
59 The Three Taverns A Book of Poems By Edwin Arlington Robinson store. "And since I have it, thanks to you, Don't ask me what I mean to do," Said he. "Believe that even I Would rather tell the truth than lie -- On Christmas Eve. No matter why." His unshaved, educated face, His inextinguishable grace, And his hard smile, are with me still, Deplore the vision as I will; For whatsoever he be at, So droll a derelict as that Should have at least another hat. 60 The Three Taverns A Book of Poems By Edwin Arlington Robinson Late Summer
(Alcaics) Confused, he found her lavishing feminine Gold upon clay, and found her inscrutable; And yet she smiled. Why, then, should horrors Be as they were, without end, her playthings? And why were dead years hungrily telling her Lies of the dead, who told them again to her? If now she knew, there might be kindness Clamoring yet where a faith lay stifled. A little faith in him, and the ruinous Past would be for time to annihilate, And wash out, like a tide that washes Out of the sand what a child has drawn there. God, what a shining handful of happiness, Made out of days and out of eternities, Were now the pulsing end of patience -- Could he but have what a ghost had stolen! What was a man before him, or ten of them, While he was here alive who could answer them, And in their teeth fling confirmations Harder than agates against an egg-shell? But now the man was dead, and would come again Never, though she might honor ineffably The flimsy wraith of him she conjured Out of a dream with his wand of absence. And if the truth were now but a mummery, Meriting pride's implacable irony, So much the worse for pride. Moreover, Save her or fail, there was conscience always. Meanwhile, a few misgivings of innocence, Imploring to be sheltered and credited, Were not amiss when she revealed them. Whether she struggled or not, he saw them. Also, he saw that while she was hearing him Her eyes had more and more of the past in them; And while he told what cautious honor Told him was all he had best be sure of, He wondered once or twice, inadvertently, Where shifting winds wer...
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