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Edwin Arlington Robinson - Two Octaves


Not by the grief that stuns and overwhelms 
All outward recognition of revealed 
And righteous omnipresence are the days 
Of most of us affrighted and diseased, 
But rather by the common snarls of life 
That come to test us and to strengthen us 
In this the prentice-age of discontent, 
Rebelliousness, faint-heartedness, and shame. 


When through hot fog the fulgid sun looks down 
Upon a stagnant earth where listless men 
Laboriously dawdle, curse, and sweat, 
Disqualified, unsatisfied, inert, -- 
It seems to me somehow that God himself 
Scans with a close reproach what I have done, 
Counts with an unphrased patience my arrears, 
And fathoms my unprofitable thoughts. 

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Two Octaves - Comments and Information

Poet: Edwin Arlington Robinson
Poem: Two Octaves
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