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Edwin Arlington Robinson - 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
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
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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Poet: Edwin Arlington Robinson
Poem: The Altar
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