Verse > Edwin A. Robinson > Collected Poems > V. The Town Down the River > 26. Bon Voyage
Edwin Arlington Robinson (1869–1935).  Collected Poems. 1921.
V. The Town Down the River
26. Bon Voyage
CHILD of a line accurst
  And old as Troy,
Bringer of best and worst
  In wild alloy—
Light, like a linnet first,        5
  He sang for joy.
Thrall to the gilded ease
  Of every day,
Mocker of all degrees
  And always gay,       10
Child of the Cyclades
  And of Broadway—
Laughing and half divine
  The boy began,
Drunk with a woodland wine       15
But there was rue to twine
  The pipes of Pan.
Therefore he skipped and flew
  The more along,       20
Vivid and always new
  And always wrong,
Knowing his only clew
  A siren song.
Careless of each and all       25
  He gave and spent:
Feast or a funeral
  He laughed and went,
Laughing to be so small
  In the event.       30
Told of his own deceit
  By many a tongue,
Flayed for his long defeat
  By being young,
Lured by the fateful sweet       35
  Of songs unsung—
Knowing it in his heart,
  But knowing not
The secret of an art
  That few forgot,       40
He played the twinkling part
  That was his lot.
And when the twinkle died,
  As twinkles do,
He pushed himself aside       45
  And out of view:
Out with the wind and tide,
  Before we knew.



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