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

II. The Children of the Night

35. On the Night of a Friend’s Wedding

IF ever I am old, and all alone,

I shall have killed one grief, at any rate;

For then, thank God, I shall not have to wait

Much longer for the sheaves that I have sown.

The devil only knows what I have done,

But here I am, and here are six or eight

Good friends, who most ingenuously prate

About my songs to such and such a one.

But everything is all askew to-night,—

As if the time were come, or almost come,

For their untenanted mirage of me

To lose itself and crumble out of sight,

Like a tall ship that floats above the foam

A little while, and then breaks utterly.