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Edwin Arlington Robinson (1869–1935). Collected Poems. 1921.

VII. The Three Taverns

16. A Song at Shannon’s

TWO men came out of Shannon’s, having known

The faces of each other for as long

As they had listened there to an old song,

Sung thinly in a wastrel monotone

By some unhappy night-bird, who had flown

Too many times and with a wing too strong

To save himself, and so done heavy wrong

To more frail elements than his alone.

Slowly away they went, leaving behind

More light than was before them. Neither met

The other’s eyes again or said a word.

Each to his loneliness or to his kind,

Went his own way, and with his own regret,

Not knowing what the other may have heard.