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Veteran Sirens Post by :willytan Category :Poems Author :Edwin Arlington Robinson Date :March 2011 Read :2445

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Veteran Sirens

The ghost of Ninon would be sorry now
To laugh at them, were she to see them here,
So brave and so alert for learning how
To fence with reason for another year.

Age offers a far comelier diadem
Than theirs; but anguish has no eye for grace,
When time's malicious mercy cautions them
To think a while of number and of space.

The burning hope, the worn expectancy,
The martyred humor, and the maimed allure,
Cry out for time to end his levity,
And age to soften its investiture;

But they, though others fade and are still fair,
Defy their fairness and are unsubdued;
Although they suffer, they may not forswear
The patient ardor of the unpursued.

Poor flesh, to fight the calendar so long;
Poor vanity, so quaint and yet so brave;
Poor folly, so deceived and yet so strong,
So far from Ninon and so near the grave.

(The end)
Edwin Arlington Robinson's poem: Veteran Sirens

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Long warned of many terrors more severe To scorch him than hell's engines could awaken, He scanned again, too far to be so near, The fearful seat no man had ever taken. So many other men with older eyes Than his to see with older sight behind them Had known so long their one way to be wise,-- Was any other thing to do than mind them? So many

Theophilus Theophilus

By what serene malevolence of names Had you the gift of yours, Theophilus? Not even a smeared young Cyclops at his games Would have you long,--and you are one of us. Told of your deeds I shudder for your dreams, And they, no doubt, are few and innocent. Meanwhile, I marvel; for in you, it seems, Heredity outshines environment. What lingering bit of Belial, unforeseen,