Edwin Arlington Robinson

(22 December 1869 – 6 April 1935 / Maine / United States)

Bon Voyage


Child of a line accurst
And old as Troy,
Bringer of best and worst
In wild alloy—
Light, like a linnet first,
He sang for joy.

Thrall to the gilded ease
Of every day,
Mocker of all degrees
And always gay,
Child of the Cyclades
And of Broadway—

Laughing and half divine
The boy began,
Drunk with a woodland wine
Thessalian:
But there was rue to twine
The pipes of Pan.

Therefore he skipped and flew
The more along,
Vivid and always new
And always wrong,
Knowing his only clew
A siren song.

Careless of each and all
He gave and spent:
Feast or a funeral
He laughed and went,
Laughing to be so small
In the event.

Told of his own deceit
By many a tongue,
Flayed for his long defeat
By being young,
Lured by the fateful sweet
Of songs unsung—

Knowing it in his heart,
But knowing not
The secret of an art
That few forgot,
He played the twinkling part
That was his lot.

And when the twinkle died,
As twinkles do,
He pushed himself aside
And out of view:
Out with the wind and tide,
Before we knew.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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