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

V. The Town Down the River

21. How Annandale Went Out

“THEY called it Annandale—and I was there

To flourish, to find words, and to attend:

Liar, physician, hypocrite, and friend,

I watched him; and the sight was not so fair

As one or two that I have seen elsewhere:

An apparatus not for me to mend—

A wreck, with hell between him and the end,

Remained of Annandale; and I was there.

“I knew the ruin as I knew the man;

So put the two together, if you can,

Remembering the worst you know of me.

Now view yourself as I was, on the spot—

With a slight kind of engine. Do you see?

Like this … You wouldn’t hang me? I thought not.”