Edwin Arlington Robinson

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

Vain Gratuities


Never was there a man much uglier
In eyes of other women, or more grim:
"The Lord has filled her chalice to the brim,
So let us pray she's a philosopher,"
They said; and there was more they said of her--
Deeming it, after twenty years with him,
No wonder that she kept her figure slim
And always made you think of lavender.

But she, demure as ever, and as fair,
Almost, as they remembered her before
She found him, would have laughed had she been there,
And all they said would have been heard no more
Than foam that washes on an island shore
Where there are none to listen or to care.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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