Verse > Edwin A. Robinson > Collected Poems > VII. The Three Taverns > 7. Demos
Edwin Arlington Robinson (1869–1935).  Collected Poems. 1921.
VII. The Three Taverns
7. Demos

ALL you that are enamored of my name
  And least intent on what most I require,
  Beware; for my design and your desire,
Deplorably, are not as yet the same.
Beware, I say, the failure and the shame        5
  Of losing that for which you now aspire
  So blindly, and of hazarding entire
The gift that I was bringing when I came.
Give as I will, I cannot give you sight
  Whereby to see that with you there are some       10
  To lead you, and be led. But they are dumb
Before the wrangling and the shrill delight
  Of your deliverance that has not come,
And shall not, if I fail you—as I might.

SO little have you seen of what awaits
  Your fevered glimpse of a democracy
  Confused and foiled with an equality
Not equal to the envy it creates,
That you see not how near you are the gates
  Of an old king who listens fearfully       20
  To you that are outside and are to be
The noisy lords of imminent estates.
Rather be then your prayer that you shall have
  Your kingdom undishonored. Having all,
  See not the great among you for the small,       25
But hear their silence; for the few shall save
  The many, or the many are to fall—
Still to be wrangling in a noisy grave.



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