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

II. The Children of the Night

21. Cliff Klingenhagen

CLIFF KLINGENHAGEN had me in to dine

With him one day; and after soup and meat,

And all the other things there were to eat,

Cliff took two glasses and filled one with wine

And one with wormwood. Then, without a sign

For me to choose at all, he took the draught

Of bitterness himself, and lightly quaffed

It off, and said the other one was mine.

And when I asked him what the deuce he meant

By doing that, he only looked at me

And smiled, and said it was a way of his.

And though I know the fellow, I have spent

Long time a-wondering when I shall be

As happy as Cliff Klingenhagen is.