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Fleming Helphenstine Post by :essential Category :Poems Author :Edwin Arlington Robinson Date :March 2011 Read :3534

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Fleming Helphenstine

At first I thought there was a superfine
Persuasion in his face; but the free glow
That filled it when he stopped and cried, "Hollo!"
Shone joyously, and so I let it shine.
He said his name was Fleming Helphenstine,
But be that as it may; -- I only know
He talked of this and that and So-and-So,
And laughed and chaffed like any friend of mine.

But soon, with a queer, quick frown, he looked at me,
And I looked hard at him; and there we gazed
With a strained shame that made us cringe and wince:
Then, with a wordless clogged apology
That sounded half confused and half amazed,
He dodged, -- and I have never seen him since.

(The end)
Edwin Arlington Robinson's poem: Fleming Helphenstine

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With searching feet, through dark circuitous ways, I plunged and stumbled; round me, far and near, Quaint hordes of eyeless phantoms did appear, Twisting and turning in a bootless chase, -- When, like an exile given by God's grace To feel once more a human atmosphere, I caught the world's first murmur, large and clear, Flung from a singing river's endless race. Then, through a magic twilight from below,

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I did not think that I should find them there When I came back again; but there they stood, As in the days they dreamed of when young blood Was in their cheeks and women called them fair. Be sure, they met me with an ancient air, -- And yes, there was a shop-worn brotherhood About them; but the men were just as good, And just as human as they ever were.