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

II. The Children of the Night

39. Supremacy

THERE is a drear and lonely tract of hell

From all the common gloom removed afar:

A flat, sad land it is, where shadows are,

Whose lorn estate my verse may never tell.

I walked among them and I knew them well:

Men I had slandered on life’s little star

For churls and sluggards; and I knew the scar

Upon their brows of woe ineffable.

But as I went majestic on my way,

Into the dark they vanished, one by one,

Till, with a shaft of God’s eternal day,

The dream of all my glory was undone,—

And, with a fool’s importunate dismay,

I heard the dead men singing in the sun.