The Clerks

Poem By Edwin Arlington Robinson

I did not think that I should find them there
When I came back again; but there they stood,
As in the days they dreamed of when young blood
Was in their cheeks and women called them fair.
Be sure, they met me with an ancient air,—
And yes, there was a shop-worn brotherhood
About them; but the men were just as good,
And just as human as they ever were.

And you that ache so much to be sublime,
And you that feed yourselves with your descent,
What comes of all your visions and your fears?
Poets and kings are but the clerks of Time,
Tiering the same dull webs of discontent,
Clipping the same sad alnage of the years.

Comments about The Clerks

There is no comment submitted by members.


Rating Card

3,0 out of 5
35 total ratings

Other poems of ROBINSON

Richard Cory

Whenever Richard Cory went down town,
We people on the pavement looked at him:
He was a gentleman from sole to crown,
Clean favored, and imperially slim.

Ben Trovato

The Deacon thought. “I know them,” he began,
“And they are all you ever heard of them—
Allurable to no sure theorem,
The scorn or the humility of man.

Afterthoughts

We parted where the old gas-lamp still burned
Under the wayside maple and walked on,
Into the dark, as we had always done;
And I, no doubt, if he had not returned,

A Happy Man

When these graven lines you see,
Traveller, do not pity me;
Though I be among the dead,
Let no mournful word be said.

An Old Story

Strange that I did not know him then.
That friend of mine!
I did not even show him then
One friendly sign;

Ballad Of Dead Friends

As we the withered ferns
By the roadway lying,
Time, the jester, spurns
All our prayers and prying --