Fragment by Edwin Arlington Robinson
Faint white pillars that seem to fade
As you look from here are the first one sees
Of his house where it hides and dies in a shade
Of beeches and oaks and hickory trees.
Now many a man, given woods like these,
And a house like that, and the Briony gold,
Would have said, “There are still some gods to please,
And houses are built without hands, we’re told.”
There are the pillars, and all gone gray.
Briony’s hair went white. You may see
Where the garden was if you come this way.
That sun-dial scared him, he said to me;
“Sooner or later they strike,” said he,
And he never got that from the books he read.
Others are flourishing, worse than he,
But he knew too much for the life he led.
And who knows all knows everything
That a patient ghost at last retrieves;
There’s more to be known of his harvesting
When Time the thresher unbinds the sheaves;
And there’s more to be heard than a wind that grieves
For Briony now in this ageless oak,
Driving the first of its withered leaves
Over the stones where the fountain broke.
About Edwin Robinson: Born at Head Tide, Maine, Dec. 22, 1869. Educated at Harvard University. Mr. Robinson is a psychological poet of great subtlety; his poems are usually studies of types and he has given us a remarkable series of portraits. He is recognized as one of the finest and most distinguished poets of our time. He won three Pulitzer Prizes for his work.