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

III. Captain Craig, Etc.

7. The Sage

FOREGUARDED and unfevered and serene,

Back to the perilous gates of Truth he went—

Back to fierce wisdom and the Orient,

To the Dawn that is, that shall be, and has been:

Previsioned of the madness and the mean,

He stood where Asia, crowned with ravishment,

The curtain of Love’s inner shrine had rent,

And after had gone scarred by the Unseen.

There at his touch there was a treasure chest,

And in it was a gleam, but not of gold;

And on it, like a flame, these words were scrolled:

“I keep the mintage of Eternity.

Who comes to take one coin may take the rest,

And all may come—but not without the key.”