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

V. The Town Down the River

29. For a Dead Lady

NO more with overflowing light

Shall fill the eyes that now are faded,

Nor shall another’s fringe with night

Their woman-hidden world as they did.

No more shall quiver down the days

The flowing wonder of her ways,

Whereof no language may requite

The shifting and the many-shaded.

The grace, divine, definitive,

Clings only as a faint forestalling;

The laugh that love could not forgive

Is hushed, and answers to no calling;

The forehead and the little ears

Have gone where Saturn keeps the years;

The breast where roses could not live

Has done with rising and with falling.

The beauty, shattered by the laws

That have creation in their keeping,

No longer trembles at applause,

Or over children that are sleeping;

And we who delve in beauty’s lore

Know all that we have known before

Of what inexorable cause

Makes Time so vicious in his reaping.