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Edwin Arlington Robinson - Demos

I

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
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
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. 


II

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
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,
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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Demos - Comments and Information

Poet: Edwin Arlington Robinson
Poem: Demos
Poem of the Day: Apr 20 2007
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