Verse > Edwin A. Robinson > Collected Poems > II. The Children of the Night > 30. The Altar
Edwin Arlington Robinson (1869–1935).  Collected Poems. 1921.
II. The Children of the Night
30. The Altar
ALONE, remote, nor witting where I went,
I found an altar builded in a dream—
A fiery place, whereof there was a gleam
So swift, so searching, and so eloquent
Of upward promise, that love’s murmur, blent        5
With sorrow’s warning, gave but a supreme
Unending impulse to that human stream
Whose flood was all for the flame’s fury bent.
Alas! I said,—the world is in the wrong.
But the same quenchless fever of unrest       10
That thrilled the foremost of that martyred throng
Thrilled me, and I awoke … and was the same
Bewildered insect plunging for the flame
That burns, and must burn somehow for the best.



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