The man who cloaked his bitterness within
by Edwin Arlington Robinson
This winding-sheet of puns and pleasantries,
God never gave to look with common eyes
Upon a world of anguish and of sin:
His brother was the branded man of Lynn;
And there are woven with his jollities
The nameless and eternal tragedies
That render hope and hopelessness akin.
We laugh, and crown him; but anon we feel
A still chord sorrow-swept,—a weird unrest
And thin dim shadows home to midnight steal,
As if the very ghost of mirth were dead—
As if the joys of time to dream had fled,
Or sailed away with Ines to the West.