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

V. The Town Down the River

4. Calverly’s

WE go no more to Calverly’s,

For there the lights are few and low;

And who are there to see by them,

Or what they see, we do not know.

Poor strangers of another tongue

May now creep in from anywhere,

And we, forgotten, be no more

Than twilight on a ruin there.

We two, the remnant. All the rest

Are cold and quiet. You nor I,

Nor fiddle now, nor flagon-lid,

May ring them back from where they lie.

No fame delays oblivion

For them, but something yet survives:

A record written fair, could we

But read the book of scattered lives.

There’ll be a page for Leffingwell,

And one for Lingard, the Moon-calf;

And who knows what for Clavering,

Who died because he couldn’t laugh?

Who knows or cares? No sign is here,

No face, no voice, no memory;

No Lingard with his eerie joy,

No Clavering, no Calverly.

We cannot have them here with us

To say where their light lives are gone,

Or if they be of other stuff

Than are the moons of Ilion.

So, be their place of one estate

With ashes, echoes, and old wars,—

Or ever we be of the night,

Or we be lost among the stars.